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Number of rough sleepers more than doubles in north west Kent

PUBLISHED: 14:49 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:06 05 April 2016

Rough sleepers have more than doubled since 2012/2013

Rough sleepers have more than doubled since 2012/2013

Archant

A project put together by local charities is being put together

A north west Kent charity tackling the growing problem of homelessness has been given a massive funding boost.

Citizens Advice in North and West Kent has received £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, as the national number of rough sleepers has doubled in six years.

And in Kent, figures suggest the problem is even greater.

In 2012-2013 the number of rough sleepers found on the streets by charity Porchlight was 148 people.

But figures from 2015-2016 suggest nearly 400 people were discovered sleeping rough.

The funding will come in over the next five years and will benefit a new programme which pulls together Citizens Advice Dartford with Choices (formerly North Kent Women’s Aid) and other charities including Porchlight and West Kent Mind.

The money will help go towards the Preventing Actual and Threatened Homelessness (Path) project, which will offer mediation for those threatened with eviction, as well as providing mental and emotional health services.

Each charity will bring its expertise to the project to tackle the multiple root causes of homelessness.

Harry Jerman, of CANWK, said: “This funding ensures that local people who are facing homelessness have the help they need to overcome their crises.

“Additional support will enable individuals to campaign on the issues that matter to them and to become champions for change within their communities.”

Citizens Advice in North and West Kent helped 131 homeless people in 2015, with a further 878 who were threatened with homelessness.

As the Path programme continues, it is expected to recruit people who have used the project to be a voice for the homeless.

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