18 rough sleepers seen shivering on North Staffordshire’s streets on Christmas Day find homes


Eighteen rough sleepers seen shivering on the streets of North Staffordshire on Christmas Day have now been found homes.

A team from Brighter Futures worked quickly to find suitable accommodation for those bedding down in doorways and parks across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle borough.

Among those helped recently by partner agencies include a couple living in a tent on Wolstanton Marsh and Donna Roberts who was camping out in Longton.

Now anyone who spots a homeless person is being urged to get in touch with the Rough Sleepers Team so they too can be helped.

Helena Evans – chief executive of Brighter Futures which is funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle Borough Council – said: “We remain fully committed in our mission to try to end homelessness by providing timely person-centered support and accommodation options to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Brighter Future’s 90 Hope Street in Hanley.

“We provide support throughout the year, 365 days of the year. Some people who we support have been homeless on and off for many years, and our work is about how we can help to change that repetitive cycle that individuals can find themselves in, whilst helping to break down potential barriers that may be preventing a person from accessing services that they need when they need them.

“We take our services out to where people are living and provide a warm confidential space in a purpose-built outreach vehicle.

“Our dedicated staff deserve enormous credit for what they do working outside in all weather, providing support, advice, accommodation options, food and drinks to people at a very difficult time in their life.

“They work closely with teams from our partners in the face of extremely challenging circumstances, which has been especially harder over the past 11 months with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.’’

The service is urging people to call the Brighter Futures’ freephone number on 0800 970 2304 if they see someone sleeping rough.

Those calling need to provide a precise location.

City council leader Abi Brown said: “We have been working closely with Brighter Futures for a long time now, and we know that they do a brilliant job all year round of moving people off the streets, supporting them into accommodation and helping them move on with their lives.

“We know that people who find themselves homeless often have other complex issues that need addressing, and the team at Brighter Futures has a wealth of experience in helping people access support that meets their individual needs.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and as temperatures drop, a lot of hard work has taken place with partners to support homeless people off the streets and give them access to safe accommodation, where they can keep warm and follow the Government guidelines around lockdown and self-isolation.”

For more information on Brighter Futures services, visit www.brighter-futures.org.uk.





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