Home­less fig­ures are not cor­rect

Stockport Express - - Your Views -

NA­TIONAL fig­ures are soon to be pub­lished con­firm­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who are home­less in the UK.

This fig­ure is never ac­cu­rate and is of­ten de­scribed as a ‘Snap­shot’ of the home­less­ness prob­lem in each area of the coun­try.

Stock­port Homes are re­port­ing that we have 10 rough sleep­ers in Stock­port.

For the last four months while repairs took place to a Stock­port hos­tel we had an ad­di­tional 25 peo­ple sleep­ing rough who have all now been ac­com­mo­dated in the re­fur­bished hos­tel.

We also cur­rently have a large num­ber of peo­ple who are classed as ‘Non Pri­or­ity.’ These cases, as well as cases of peo­ple who have a ten­u­ous or no lo­cal con­nec­tion to Stock­port, are not in­cluded in Stock­port homes gues­ti­mate fig­ure of 10.

For many years I’ve been frus­trated by the poor and in­ac­cu­rate re­port­ing of the num­ber of home­less peo­ple on our streets.

It’s about time that the govern­ment stopped pres­suris­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across the coun­try to re­port the low­est fig­ures that they can.

Ac­cord­ing to Well­spring data that is con­stantly gath­ered and up­dated at the only home­less re­source cen­tre in Stock­port that is phys­i­cally open 365 days a year, 39 peo­ple are cur­rently street home­less. Nearly 100 ad­di­tional peo­ple are sofa surf­ing.

Thou­sands of oth­ers are cur­rently at risk of be­com­ing home­less.

If we only have 10 rough sleep­ers, why don’t Stock­port homes open a new hos­tel to ac­com­mo­date the 10? I’m sure you could fit 10 ac­com­mo­da­tion units in the multi mil­lion-pound head of­fice that Stock­port Homes has just built next to the town hall.

We are look­ing for­ward to run­ning the Ruck­sack project again this year.

This will be the project’s fifth year and it’s got big­ger and bet­ter ev­ery year.

Do­na­tions of ruck­sacks, sleep­ing bags and warm cloth­ing are needed so we can give these throughtout 2018 to any­one who finds them­selves home­less on our streets.

The drop off day is Satur­day, De­cem­ber 9. »●Well­spring dates for your di­ary : Satur­day, Novem­ber 18, 10am-1pm: Well­spring ta­ble top sale at Wood­ley Com­mu­nity Hall. Fri­day, De­cem­ber 8, from 2.30pm: Open Af­ter­noon at The Well­spring, please come and visit. Tues­day De­cem­ber19, at 1.30pm: The Well­spring Christ­mas Carol Ser­vice at Saint Marys in the Mar­ket­place.

BY JONATHAN BILLINGS Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer at The Well­spring

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