New report reveals shocking extent of South Tyneside’s homeless figures

A report has revealed that 82 people are classed as homeless in the borough.
A report has revealed that 82 people are classed as homeless in the borough.

South Tyneside has been ranked in the top five worst places in the region for homelessness.

A new report - Far from alone: Homelessness in Britain 2017 - released by charity Shelter reveals 82 people are classed as being homeless in the borough.

Of those, four people are sleeping rough while 78 more are living in temporary accommodation.

Middlesbrough is seen as having the worst homeless levels in the region, followed by North Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle.

Council chiefs say tackling the issue is a top priority and work has already helped to prevent 403 people from ending up without a home. A further 51 people have been helped into accommodation.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Homelessness is a national issue that should concern us all. Preventing it is one of our top priorities and we continue to develop new services to meet the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“Taking a collaborative partnership approach, we aim to tackle homelessness by earlier intervention and prevention activity. In the first two quarters of this year, we helped prevent 403 people from becoming homeless and helped 51 homeless people into accommodation.

“Earlier this year, we received funding from the DCLG’s Homelessness Preventions Fund, after a successful joint bid with Sunderland City Council. This funding allows us to provide targeted help and support in the form of outreach work by Changing Lives, focusing on the vulnerable single homeless, rough sleepers and those hidden in private hostel accommodation.

“Our Homefinder service offers a range of advice and assistance to those who are at risk of homelessness including negotiation with other housing providers and lenders on behalf of those in payment difficulties to help them remain in their home.

“Our Welfare Support Team, offers benefit advice and support to residents of the borough, including maximising income and discretionary payments to assist those in greatness need remain in their accommodation.”

The report comes as the charity launches its appeal to support frontline workers who help people to stay in their home or find a new one.

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter said: “It’s shocking to think that today, almost 2,400 people in the North East are waking up homeless. Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.

“On a daily basis, we speak to people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness. A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.”

To support Shelter’s appeal visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.