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Homeless problem is 'terrible' in town
10:20am Friday 25th January 2013 in News
HOMELESSNESS is a ‘terrible problem’ in Warrington, according to a YMCA official with 30 years of experience helping rough sleepers.
Susan Blythe, manager at the YMCA on Winmarleigh Street, says that homeless numbers are on the increase and with more snow forecast believes people can ‘quite easily die’ on the streets.
She said: “It really is a terrible problem at the moment.
“We have to work out how may there are and find beds for them.
“That happens night after night, summer or winter.
“It’s especially worrying when it’s cold with things like hypothermia and if they are drinking.
“Their body temperature will lower and they can die quite easily.
On Monday night 17 people attended an emergency shelter at the Gateway, run alongside the YMCA, for only 10 beds.
Mrs Blythe estimates there are hundreds more in the town staying with friends but on the verge of becoming homeless.
That may improve after Warrington secured a funding grant of £200,000 to help the homeless.
The money has been awarded to Bright Futures, a charity that sends out volunteers to walk the streets to help rough sleepers, advising what services are available.
Gill Brown, chief executive of Brighter Futures, said: “Warrington Borough Council is committed to deal effectively with rough sleeping in their area. As a new partner Brighter Futures shares their vision of a local partnership of best practice which ensures no one spends a second night out and that no one lives on the streets.
“The funding will enable us to provide effective solutions to those with complex needs who are sleeping rough.
It will also fund the collection of vital information that will help plan local health and welfare services to make sure that no one slips through the safety net and starts rough sleeping.”
The grant from the Homeless Transition Fund follows the launch of Streetlink, a new hotline and website which can be used by the homeless and concerned members of the pubic.
To help rough sleepers go to streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 500 0914.