Forum to focus on homelessness in Wellingborough

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Voluntary groups are coming together for a town’s first forum to tackle the problem of homelessness and people sleeping rough.

The inaugural Wellingborough Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Forum is being held at the Daylight Centre during National Homelessness Week.

At least eight voluntary organisations in the town who help the homeless, rough sleepers and those in temporary accommodation will be represented at the meeting.

The forum is aimed at gathering and sharing evidence of the growing need within Wellingborough to provide for those who are homeless and sleeping rough.

Another aim is to work together in a co-ordinated way to alleviate the problems that sleeping in temporary accommodation and sleeping rough can have on a person’s well-being.

Valerie Anslow, who is a trustee of the Daylight Centre, said: “To be truly effective the organisations are coming together to gather evidence of the number of homeless in the town, including sofa surfers, B&B clients, doorway and tent sleepers and car occupiers.”

The forum is made up of voluntary organisations including Citizens Advice, The Bridge Project, Community Law Service, Street Pastors, Teen Challenge and the Daylight Centre.

Valerie said next week’s forum is being held at a ‘time of crisis in the housing market’ with rising rents and changes to the benefit system due to come into effect.

And she added: “The impact on society and the squeeze it will put on local councils is enormous.”

Those attending the meeting will be asked whether their organisation has seen evidence of an increase in homelessness before looking at ways in which they can work together so the maximum number of people can be helped.

The forum is being held on Wednesday (November 15).