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Drive to help the vulnerable as more than 600 people in Norfolk found living in hidden homelessness

PUBLISHED: 14:33 01 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 01 December 2018

More than 600 people in Norfolk are homeless, a new report from housing charity Shelter shows. Picture: Ian Burt

More than 600 people in Norfolk are homeless, a new report from housing charity Shelter shows. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

More than 600 people are homeless in Norfolk with nearly 50 of them sleeping rough on the streets.

The Surviving Winter campaign is run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening NewsThe Surviving Winter campaign is run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening News

More than a third of those are in Great Yarmouth, with 213 people recorded as homeless in the coastal town, three of whom are rough sleepers.

A number of appeals have been launched to help vulnerable people who are close to losing their home or have no shelter, a situation many are finding themselves as a result of rising fuel costs, welfare cuts and lack of social housing.

According to a new report by housing charity Shelter, which analysed data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, there are around 601 homeless people in the county with the vast majority of them living in temporary accommodation and 49 sleeping on the streets.

Across the East of England, one in 306 people are homeless – the third-highest rate of England’s nine regions.

The charity warns that urgent action needs to be taken ahead of the winter months and described the scale of homelessness across the country as “unforgivable”.

In Norwich, it estimated that 106 people are homeless, 87 of whom are in temporary housing while the remaining 30 were recorded as sleeping rough.

There were 96 people recorded as homeless in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, 92 people in Broadland and 94 people in North Norfolk.

This comes after the launch of Norwich-based homeless charity St Martins’s annual Christmas appeal, which will see volunteers take to the streets and supermarkets to raise vital funds for vulnerable people.

Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martins, said: “While the government has made significant commitment to ending rough sleeping by 2027, we think this is not ambitious enough.

“Given the average life expectancy of a man on the streets is 47, many of the people on the streets now will not be alive in a decade. We need to act now.”

The EDP-backed Surviving Winter campaign, run by the Norfolk Community Foundation, has also been launched to raise £150,000 to tackle fuel poverty and isolation for those who struggle the most during the colder months - including the homeless.

Funds from the campaign will help St Martins and Norwich Foodbank offer practical support to the homeless and issue food vouchers to families, couples and individuals.

Surviving Winter

Help elderly and vulnerable people stay warm, fed and sheltered this winter by donating to the Surviving Winter campaign.

Run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening News, the campaign is aiming to raise £150,000 to tackle fuel poverty and isolation for those who struggle the most between now and the spring.

The campaign is urging older people who do not need their winter fuel allowance to donate it to those who desperately do, as many are faced with choosing between paying the bills and putting food on the table.

Funds raised in the appeal will be distributed to a range of good causes across Norfolk, including the foundation trust’s key partners Age UK Norfolk, Norwich Foodbank and St Martins Housing Trust.

To donate, Visit the Surviving Winter appeal donation page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/survivingwinter18-19 or call Norfolk Community Foundation on 01603 623 958.

You can donate by cheque made payable to Norfolk Community Foundation and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN.

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