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South Holland's shock rise in homeless kids




The number of homeless children living in temporary accommodation in South Holland more than doubled to 76 in a year.

Official figures for the end of March compare with 37 in 2017 and 34 in 2018.

The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, has joined housing charity Shelter's call for the new Government to tackle homelessness.

The number South Holland homeless children living in temporary accommodation has more than doubled
The number South Holland homeless children living in temporary accommodation has more than doubled

Mr Bennett said: "The statistics represent real people going through miserable times.

"Our church collects food for Agape Food Bank and we have also given thousands of pounds to make sure people who need them can get food parcels all year.

"I have given financial help to desperate and homeless families in Spalding both using charitable funds and my own money amounting to thousands of pounds.

The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett
The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett

"Charity is needed but it is not the answer to the problem. There is a saying that it is not enough to pull drowning people out of the river; you have to go upstream and stop those who are pushing them in."

Shelter expects135,000 children in Britain will be homeless and in temporary accommodation by Christmas Day - the highest number in 12 years.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: "They are being uprooted from friends, living in cold, cramped B&Bs and going to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside."

South Holland District Council's costs linked to providing temporary accommodation for the homeless are forecast to overspend by £560,000 by the end of the year.

Jenny Tedbury, of The Lighthouse Project
Jenny Tedbury, of The Lighthouse Project

Spalding-based Lighthouse Project provides accommodation for homeless young people aged 16 up, and its executive director Jenny Tedbury says it has a very good relationship with the council.

Mrs Tedbury said: "Seventy-six youngsters in a small area like South Holland being in temporary accommodation - and the impact on them and their families - is concerning."

A council spokesperson said every authority in the country is trying its best to assist families in difficult circumstances.

“For us as a council, early intervention is key.

“Privately rented accommodation and parental evictions are the two biggest drivers for homelessness. We urge anyone who feels they may be at threat of being made homeless to contact us as early as possible so that we can help."

Anyone seeking help can speak to a council advisor on 01775 761161.

The spokesman said the council is delivering 106 rental and shared ownership properties to the district, and working with partners to deliver a further 82 new affordable homes by the end of 2020.

The government says £1.2billion is being made available to tackle all types of homelessness.



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