Thousands of children living in the South West are homeless

3,000 children in the region are homeless.

Thousands of children are living in the South West without a place to call home.

A new report from Shelter shows there are 8,000 homeless people in the region - including 3,000 children.

The charity says Bristol is the hardest hit city in the region, with one in every 236 people in the city now classed as homeless.

The report also reveals one in every 401 people in Gloucester are homeless, with one in every 434 people in Torbay also living without a home.

Alice Klein, from Shelter, told ITV News the report's findings are "really worrying" as lots of homelessness is not recorded, such as people sofa surfing.

"We think it's going to keep going up because lots of the protections that were in place during the pandemic - such as the very successful Everyone In scheme, which brought rough sleepers off the street, but also the eviction ban which prevented families from being made homeless - have now been relaxed.

"You combine that with the cost of living crisis, from energy prices going off, the cost of food high, cuts to Universal Credit - it all combines to mean a lot of people are really feeling the pinch now and they are much more at risk of losing their homes."

She said around 1,000 people a day are now are asking for Shelter's help.

"Lots of families are coming to us in a really desperate state where they've either been made homeless and need help finding emergency accommodation or they're on the brink of becoming homeless."

Shelter has now launched its Winter Appeal so it can continue to help get and keep people off the streets.

The charity says it has been inundated with calls to its helpline - including from frontline workers.

Polly Neate's chief executive said: "We predicted the pandemic would trigger a rising tide of evictions and our services are starting to see the reality of this now. We’re flooded with calls from families and people of all ages who are homeless or on the verge of losing their home.

"A shoddy hostel room or a freezing cold doorway is no place to wake up on Christmas morning, but sadly so many people will.

"Our emergency helpline advisers work 365 days a year, doing everything they can to help people find a safe and secure home. By giving a little the public can help us do a lot - with their support we can keep providing support and advice to thousands of families facing homelessness this year."

  • Shelter's emergency helpline is free to call on 0808 800 4444