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Record Number Of People Left Homeless In The South West

Cornwall News
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2:11pm 21st November 2014

It is revealed 36 families in the South West are at risk of losing their home every day.

The charity Shelter took 15,000 calls from the region last year.

It says a record number of people are being left homeless.

It reckons it is down to things like a shortage of affordable houses.

Now it is urgently appealing for support for its helpline this winter, which is part funded by Marks & Spencer.

Spokesperson Campbell Robb said: "There is a huge number of reasons why people are facing homelessness across the board, the cost of housing is going up, the cost of renting is going up, the cost of living is going up, so a whole range of things mean people are just struggling to keep a roof over their head.

"One of the problems we face in this country is we just don't have enough homes, the government needs to build more homes, because then the price of homes will eventually come down and houses will be more affordable to rent or to buy and that is a really important thing."

Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said: "It's so heart-breaking to hear from families struggling to keep a roof over their heads, especially around this time of year.

"Hearing the panic in a parent's voice when they've just been evicted or had their home repossessed never gets any easier. Sadly, every year we get more and more of these calls over the holidays, and this Christmas will be no different.

"That's why the support we get from Marks & Spencer customers is so important to our work. As demand for our help goes up, the money raised through the Food On The Move Range helps us be there for families when they need us most."

Sasha called the Shelter helpline after she and her young son were evicted from their property and had nowhere else to turn.

She said: "Shelter was there when I was at my lowest. By failing to provide basic accommodation for my child, I felt I had failed him and there was no hope.

"The Shelter advisor showed me that there was a way out of the situation and was there to offer support and advice to help me get back on my feet.

"Thankfully we're now moving into a new home in time for Christmas - if I hadn't made that phone call I don't know where we'd be."  

Marks & Spencer's Director of Plan A, Mike Barry, said: "This is our ninth year of supporting Shelter at Christmas and helping homeless families at a time when they need it most. We are proud to be associated with a charity that does such amazing work.

"With donations to the Shelter helpline coming through our Food On The Move range and coffee sales, every time a customer comes into store for lunch they are helping to ensure no call for help goes unanswered this Christmas."

2:11pm 21st November 2014

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