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Homelessness ‘nightmare’ fears in Bournemouth
HOMELESS people in Bournemouth have said the proposed new system for rough sleepers could be a “nightmare” because of extra red tape.
Council chiefs are set to introduce a new structure which directs those in need of a roof over their head to go straight to the council instead of turning up at St Paul’s night shelter or the YMCA.
Head of Boscombe Salvation Army Church, Major Ray Begley, said: “I admire the council for wanting to offer a level of support, but in my experience this client group is chaotic in their lifestyle. The more complex the system, the more frightened they will become.
“For them to turn up at the right time, date and to make and keep appointments could be extremely difficult and presents a very real challenge for some.”
Jon Wilkes, who has stayed at several different shelters in Bournemouth, said: “The changes will be an absolute nightmare. It will cause so much hassle because of all the red tape.
“What happens when it’s pouring down with rain and you just want a place for the night?”
Paul Holliday, 51, resident at Michael House, a hostel for the homeless in Boscombe, said: “The local connection is really important because the council needs to know who people are.
“There does need to be some restrictions because the Government can’t just keep giving people hand-outs.”
Councillor Blair Crawford, who is chief executive of the YMCA, said there will be a three-tier pathway where individuals will go through different levels of development aimed at getting them back on their feet.
He said: “It won’t be a perfect system, but I’m hoping it will be better than what we’ve got right now. There will be issues, but by working together we should be able to address the problems.”
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