Swindon AdvertiserHelping get homeless people off the streets (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Helping get homeless people off the streets

Swindon Advertiser: Police and other agencies have found rough sleepers in the stairwell of Fleming Way Car Park. Pictured are PCSO Charlie Milne and PCSO Emma Millarvie Police and other agencies have found rough sleepers in the stairwell of Fleming Way Car Park. Pictured are PCSO Charlie Milne and PCSO Emma Millarvie

SIX people, including a couple, were found sleeping rough on the town’s streets during a sweep by homeless and drugs agencies, police and Swindon Council.

The operation was launched amid concerns that numbers of those living on the streets of the town centre had increased, with police reporting as many as 12 or 13 people sleeping rough in areas such as the Menzies Hotel car park.

The decision to carry out the street sweep was made at a meeting of the Rough Sleepers’ Panel between the council’s housing team, Threshold Housing Link, Booth House, Swindon and Wiltshire Alcohol and Drugs Service and town centre neighbourhood police.

Sgt Barry Reed said officers felt it was necessary to try to offer support to those left homeless.

He said: “Two of our neighbourhood PCSOs went out with Threshold, the council, Inclusion drugs service, SWADS and Booth House on Tuesday and came across several people sleeping on the streets or in the Menzies Hotel car park, which is often where they go.”

Three of the people identified were successfully accommodated, one in a local bed and breakfast, one in the Salvation Army’s Booth House emergency unit and another in Threshold’s own direct access emergency accommodation at Culvery Court, in Harding Street.

Phil Smith, of Threshold, said: “In the last two weeks Threshold’s emergency hostel at Culvery Court has taken in five people who have been sleeping rough in and around Swindon. “Unfortunately, our staff also had to turn people away on 23 occasions in the same period because there have been no beds available.

“We are handing out blankets on a nightly basis to people who have no choice but to sleep outside.”

Paul Francombe, 24, has been sleeping rough for three years after suffering from an alcohol addiction but is trying to turn his life around with the help of Threshold.

He said: “In the winter it is horrendous. If you haven’t got any blankets just trying to stay warm is a struggle.

“There have been times where I thought I would die.

“I came to Threshold for help and I wanted to change because of my age, I’m still quite young and I do have family I want to get back in contact with.

“I have been here a week and they have been really good here and I have recommended it to friends.”

Comments (6)

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8:29am Sat 24 Nov 12

Moth says...

Although this article states people with drink and drug addictions, I wonder how many ordinary people are now sleeping rough thanks to this government's (and the previous one's) policies?

Cuts to housing and council tax benefits, very few jobs in Swindon with hundreds of people chasing one job, the ever increasing cost of living, the list is endless.

Meanwhile, the government continues to line the pockets of it's wealthy friends while persecuting the sick, disabled, dying and elderly.

This government maintains that this country is broke yet it seems to find £billions to throw at that bottomless pit called the EU and foreign aid.

Isn't it about time they started looking after the people of this country first?

This is still supposed to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world yet the way successive governments, but particularly this one treats it's own people is a complete and utter disgrace.
Although this article states people with drink and drug addictions, I wonder how many ordinary people are now sleeping rough thanks to this government's (and the previous one's) policies? Cuts to housing and council tax benefits, very few jobs in Swindon with hundreds of people chasing one job, the ever increasing cost of living, the list is endless. Meanwhile, the government continues to line the pockets of it's wealthy friends while persecuting the sick, disabled, dying and elderly. This government maintains that this country is broke yet it seems to find £billions to throw at that bottomless pit called the EU and foreign aid. Isn't it about time they started looking after the people of this country first? This is still supposed to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world yet the way successive governments, but particularly this one treats it's own people is a complete and utter disgrace. Moth
  • Score: 0

9:21am Sat 24 Nov 12

semitonic says...

In the years when Swindon had practically 100% employment there were still dropouts who wouldn't work and couldn't fit into society, either through addiction or mental health issues etc. Sadly it will always be the case no matter what government is in.
In the years when Swindon had practically 100% employment there were still dropouts who wouldn't work and couldn't fit into society, either through addiction or mental health issues etc. Sadly it will always be the case no matter what government is in. semitonic
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Sat 24 Nov 12

I 2 Could B says...


Meanwhile, the government continues to line the pockets of it's wealthy friends while persecuting the sick, disabled, dying and elderly.

All very Arthur Scargill, I'm sure, but it's not actually the reality.

In 2012, the highest-earning 1% cent of Britons pay almost 30 per cent of all income taxes.

The 3.7million who earn more than £35,000 and pay 40 per cent tax, hand over £57billion in tax, 34% of the total.

And, at the lower end, 50% pay £17bn, which doesn't even cover the UK's housing benefit bill.

Despite what you may think to be the case, it's actually the 'rich' who fund the entire welfare state... a welfare state that is currently far more generous to the sick, disabled, dying and elderly than it has ever been.

Remember, those on benefits enjoyed a 5.2% rise in their income earlier this year... how many working people received such an increase?
[quote] Meanwhile, the government continues to line the pockets of it's wealthy friends while persecuting the sick, disabled, dying and elderly. [/quote] All very Arthur Scargill, I'm sure, but it's not actually the reality. [p] In 2012, the highest-earning 1% cent of Britons pay almost 30 per cent of all income taxes. [p] The 3.7million who earn more than £35,000 and pay 40 per cent tax, hand over £57billion in tax, 34% of the total. [p] And, at the lower end, 50% pay £17bn, which doesn't even cover the UK's housing benefit bill. [p] Despite what you may think to be the case, it's actually the 'rich' who fund the entire welfare state... a welfare state that is currently far more generous to the sick, disabled, dying and elderly than it has ever been. [p] Remember, those on benefits enjoyed a 5.2% rise in their income earlier this year... how many working people received such an increase? I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Empty Car Park says...

Now try to make a comment as an average person Mr Dinachie.

Not as a salesperson for the Conservative politicians
Now try to make a comment as an average person Mr Dinachie. Not as a salesperson for the Conservative politicians Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Empty Car Park says...

Ooh there I go again.
Big fingers on a tiny keyboard.

Sorry for the mis-print, but I expect everyone else realises I meant to type Donachie Oliver.
Ooh there I go again. Big fingers on a tiny keyboard. Sorry for the mis-print, but I expect everyone else realises I meant to type Donachie Oliver. Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Davey Gravey says...

Even if there was a job for everyone there would still be homeless dropouts. Glad there are people to help them though. Sad that their lives are so bad to live that way
Even if there was a job for everyone there would still be homeless dropouts. Glad there are people to help them though. Sad that their lives are so bad to live that way Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

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