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Homeless man found dead in sleeping bag at Catching Lives night shelter

By KentOnline reporter

A man has been found dead in his sleeping bag at a night shelter for the homeless.

The rough sleeper, in his 40s, was staying at the Catching Lives centre in Station Road East Canterbury.

Emergency crews were called to the building after the discovery this morning.

The Catching Lives day centre in Station Road East, Canterbury
The Catching Lives day centre in Station Road East, Canterbury

The centre - typically only open during the day - was running a night shelter as part of the council's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (Swep), which is activated when temperatures drop below freezing.

Catching Lives has said on its Facebook page: "We regret to announce that one of our clients was found dead in his sleeping bag this morning.

"The client was staying overnight at our day centre as part of the Swep provision.

"His family have been informed.

"The police are treating his death as 'non-suspicious'."

General manager Terry Gore said: "He was a client I had known on and off for years.

"Every year we lose a number of clients, but we've never had a client die inside the building before.

"It's very sad for our staff, clients and volunteers."

City council spokesman Rob Davies said: "We were very sad to learn of the death of a rough sleeper at the Catching Lives centre last night.

"We had been working with Catching Lives and Porchlight to try and find the man accommodation locally."

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends and the Catching Lives staff who dealt with this distressing situation.

"The man had accessed shelter under our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, which has currently been expanded as a result of the ongoing freezing conditions.

"We cannot provide further information about the circumstances of his death as there will be a coroner's investigation.

The Catching Lives day centre had reopened on Wednesday after having shut on Friday last week as a "last resort" after bosses said clients failed to heed warnings about drinking and drug use at the centre and abuse of staff.

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