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Number of ‘rough sleepers’ rises in Leeds

By Sam Brooksbank

A homeless charity in Leeds has backed a Labour scheme to create more housing for homeless people – even if other services are not available.

Andrew Omond, project manager at St George’s Crypt, said that it could house 49 people overnight, averaging around 25 people per night and catering for 120 people.

The charity accommodates and feeds those who are homeless and struggling with addiction, aiming to meet the basic needs of everyone in a safe and caring environment.

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey said  an opposition government would reduce the number of rough sleepers in England by duplicating a scheme in London, which lets out house and flats at affordable rents.

Mr Healey told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “The rapidly rising number of people sleeping in doorways and on park benches shames us all.

Mr Omond said: “I think it’s a fair scheme, it has been trialled in America, where there are towns dedicating space to house people, and towns provide services later.

“There are a lot of people who are long term homeless, but there is always a need for some sort of emergency pit stop that moves people off and onwards.

“With all the will in the world, there will be a need for a place to go for all the other services.”



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