Char­i­ties do­ing their best as mp calls for am­bi­tious pol­icy

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Life On The Streets -

A spokesman for home­less char­ity Porch­light said: “Al­most half of the peo­ple we help on the streets have a men­tal health need.

“Some­times their home­less­ness was a re­sult of strug­gling with men­tal ill-health and be­ing un­able to get the sup­port they needed. In other cases, they don’t re­alise they have a men­tal health need but we can recog­nise the signs and help them get a di­ag­no­sis which will put them on the path to es­cap­ing the streets. This sup­port con­tin­ues in our hos­tels and shared hous­ing.

“We use a psy­cho­log­i­cally in­formed ap­proach to help peo­ple de­velop a greater un­der­stand­ing of their be­hav­iour and re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers, and to re­gain their in­de­pen­dence.”

MP Rosie Duffield said: “I am ap­palled by the num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies I have al­ready met who have been made home­less and de­serve the help of both the city and the state to make a fresh start.

“Ex­cel­lent char­i­ties such as Catch­ing Lives work hard to help those on the streets but we need to think big­ger.

“We need an am­bi­tious pol­icy for so­cial and council hous­ing; we need a roll out of more council-backed rent guar­an­tee and bond schemes and we need to stop the huge in­fla­tion of rents by greedy land­lords.

“Truly af­ford­able hous­ing needs to be built in Can­ter­bury and the many new de­vel­op­ments planned that are sim­ply out of reach of those most in need.”

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