Concerns rising for homeless people in Stoke-on-Trent as winter approaches

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Homelessness is on the rise in Stoke-on-Trent and local charities are concerned not enough is being done to help people in need.

‘Help for the Homeless’ a charity, set up by couple Glyn and Jeannette Jackson, has continuously provided food and clothing to homeless people in Hanley and the surrounding areas for just over 12 months.

However, due to the impending Homelessness Strategy, brought about by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, many are concerned not much will change for the homeless in the city.

Glyn Jackson, co-founder of ‘Help for the Homeless’, said: “It’s been a long journey for me and my wife. We started nearly two years ago.

“We don’t have much help from the council. We need more shelters for them, and the council have the money, so why don’t they use it to build shelters for the homeless?”

Major concerns were raised by the charity after news broke out that some homeless people have been arrested because they were on the street.

Glyn, 55-years-old, from Chell Heath, added: “We have pressures from the police. We have been here at Sacred Heart for just three weeks and numbers are quite low because of the activities going on in Hanley.”

Staffordshire Police have yet to give a comment.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council have issued a Homelessness Strategy report for the past five years, which has seen them partake in many different services and initiatives in a bid to reduce the rate of homelessness.

Councillor Sue Scott, the strategic manager for high risk lifestyles, said: “There is a lot being done. We have a voluntary sector which is absolutely excellent.

“We are not complacent about homelessness; our view is that everybody should have a home.”

The Cabinet are due to meet to discuss the future of homelessness in Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday 22.

Cllr Scott added: “I expect the cabinet to fully endorse the Homelessness Strategy that prioritises the need for everybody to have a home.”

A man who is in need and often comes to the Sacred Heart Church, said: “They open 7 nights a week, give you a hot meal every night and they give you something to take away.

“It’s nice to know I have people to talk to here, they are really friendly.”

Following the surge in demand in calls to homeless charity ‘Shelter’ with over 39,000 calls, ‘Help for the Homeless are hopeful that something will change.

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