THE issue of young people being forced to live on the streets is still a very real problem in Cirencester, according to the head of a county-wide homelessness charity.
Gloucestershire Nightstop, a charity that aims to put young homeless people up in temporary accommodation, held an awareness raising event in Cirencester on Saturday, February 1.
Ciaran Murphy, manager at Gloucestershire Nightstop, told the Standard that homelessness in the Cotswolds is as prominent as it is in other communities.
“In the bigger cities like Cheltenham and Gloucester, you can see the symptoms of homelessness such as begging and people in shop doorways. Things like that are less evident in Cirencester but that’s not to say that problem here is any different,” he said.
“The issue of homelessness doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter what area you live in or what your financial situation is, it can happen to anyone.”
The Nightstop team brought their information tent to the town in a bid to raise awareness of the conditions that some young people are living in at this time of year.
Ciaran explained that his team has seen instances where young people had resorted to sleeping in tents people’s back gardens instead of staying on the streets.
He said: “Hopefully by being in Cirencester, we will raise awareness of the problem and, maybe, some people will consider becoming a host household for the young people. Currently, we only have four in the Cotswolds.”
Gloucestershire Nightstop relies heavily on public donations and, in recent years, has struggled to make ends meet financially.
“Like all charities, we are finding it difficult. There is a lot of competition out there for funding and it’s no secret that we’ve certainly had a few applications turned down,” Ciaran said.
Anyone wishing to donate to the charity can do so by visiting www.tinyurl.com/d8jgwtq.
More details on the charity can be found at www.gloucestershirenightstop.org.uk.