Kent

Plea to report signs of Kent rough sleepers

  • 3 November 2010
  • From the section Kent
Homeless person
Image caption The charity regularly carries out its own searches and has an outreach team

A charity tackling homelessness in Kent has asked the public to report makeshift shelters or other signs of people sleeping rough.

Porchlight carries out its own regular searches, but is hoping that extra information from the public will help it find more vulnerable people.

Strategic manager Gill Bryant said some people, such as dog walkers or refuse collectors, were out at unusual hours.

Those people might be able to spot signs of homelessness, she added.

Rural areas

She said: "The ability of the general public to give us accurate information about rough sleepers is crucial to us being able to get people off the streets and into long-term accommodation.

"It is particularly useful to us in large rural areas where rough sleepers tend to be very well-hidden."

Porchlight's outreach service in Kent had seen high demand with more than 400 referrals in the past six months, she said.

It received an average of 744 calls a month to its helpline number, and in 2009/2010 helped more than 1,900 vulnerable people.

A recent annual street count across nine local authority areas identified a total of 25 rough sleepers.

The Kent-wide charity, which runs an outreach service, supported accommodation and homelessness prevention work, is currently targeting Shepway, Ashford, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells.

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