Call for help for homeless in Chelmsford

Chelmsford Weekly News: Call for help for homeless in Chelmsford Call for help for homeless in Chelmsford

CALLS for more facilities for homeless people living on the streets of Chelmsford has been made.

Dick Madden (Tory) and Graham Pooley (Lib Dem) have expressed concerns over what is available as many rough sleepers forced to use doorways and city centre pavements to rest.

Both are now calling on Chelmsford Council and Essex County Council to do more to help.

It comes after Mr Pooley spent a night with 75 others sleeping outside Chelmsford Cathedral to raise money for homeless charity Chess.

Mr Pooley said: “I did feel like a bit of a fraud as I knew I could pop inside to grab a drink or go toilet.

“But the experience was still worthwhile and the problem in Chelmsford is only going to get more serious unless something is done.

“The shelter run by Chess is always full so what is needed is more facilities for the homeless to go.”

Mr Madden added: “What we don’t have in the city is a day centre were homeless people can go and be signposted to health, employment and housing issues.

“We need to look at facilitating and trying to develop and encourage these people to have a home, employment and good health.”

Officials at Chelmsford Council said the authority fund many schemes to help homeless people.

A spokeswoman said: “We offer everyone who needs it expert housing advice and options including advice on benefit eligibility, affordability assessments and advice on accessing the private rented sector supported by our offer of a deposit guarantee scheme.”

County council bosses said although it is not in their remit, they still committed to supporting projects to help vulnerable adults at risk of homelessness.

John Aldridge, councillor responsible for adult social care, said: “We fund a number of services which help to enable them to regain their independence, gain access to education, training and employment.”

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