A PENSIONER and his wife have been sleeping in their car after running out of rent money.

John Davis and his wife Gwyneth fell on hard times this year with no savings left and when a loan for a business deal did not go ahead they were left penniless.

There has been a rise in people falling homeless and the charity Shelter has compiled figures showing 271 households needed temporary accommodation in the three months up to September.

John, 68, his wife Gwyneth, 59, and their dachshund Jake have spent nights in their Mercedes and on the floors of friends and family after running out of the rent money for their three-bedroom house overlooking Poole Park.

John, 68, a retired broker, said: “I get £171 per week pension but it’s not enough to get you through the week.

“It’s freezing in the car.”

Gwyneth, 59, added: “When you are in this situation you think ‘God, this can happen to anybody’.

“We had a choice of either staying at a bed and breakfast or eating and having to sleep in the car is degrading and humiliating.

“It’s frightening and you don’t get much sleep.”

The couple have been given money by Poole council to cover the deposit for a two bedroom property in Hamworthy, with a crisis loan from the Government for the first month’s rent.

Ben Tomlin, Interim Housing Services Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “The council has reviewed Mr and Mrs Davis’ housing situation with relevant partners and have offered support, advice and assistance in helping them to find settled housing following their recent eviction.”

THE homeless charity Shelter recorded 271 households being placed in temporary accommodation in the third quarter of this year across Dorset.

And Campbell Robb, chief executive, said more than 2000 children in the South West will wake up homeless on Christmas Day.

He said: “No child should be homeless in the South West this Christmas. Every December, Shelter’s helpline and advice centres deal with thousands of people at risk of losing their home.

"We need everyone’s support in the coming months so our advisors can help prevent families from becoming homeless, and help them into a home if the worst should happen.”