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Homelessness in Kent: Dartford, Ashford, Medway and Thanet exposed

By Ellis Stephenson

A charity has described Kent's homelessness figures as "shocking" as it revealed 2,500 people are without a permanent roof over their heads.

Shelter says its research shows 2,634 people in the county are either sleeping rough, have no home, or are in emergency accommodation.

Dartford, Ashford, Medway and Thanet are all mentioned as areas where the problem is most prevalent.

Homelessness is prevalent in many parts of Kent. Library image
Homelessness is prevalent in many parts of Kent. Library image

Data shows in Dartford there are nine rough sleepers and 642 total homeless people.

That number decreases a little when you look at Ashford where there are eight rough sleepers and 492 people who do not have a permanent home.

Medway has a much worse problem with 1,059 total homeless and 14 people who have nowhere to live on the streets.

Finally, some 33 people in Thanet are rough sleepers and the number of people who don't have a home stands at 441.

Shelter chief executive, Polly Neate, said: "It’s shocking to think that today, almost 28,000 people in the South East are waking up homeless.

"Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children.

"And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.

"On a daily basis, we speak to people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness.

"A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.

"As this crisis continues to unfold, the work of our frontline advisers remains absolutely critical.

"We will do all we can to make sure no-one is left to fight homelessness on their own.

"But we cannot achieve this alone; we urgently need the public’s support to be there for everyone who needs us right now."

"We urgently need the public's support to be there for everyone who needs us right now" - Polly Neate

The charity's public affairs officer, Poppy Terry, said: "Daily we speak to families who are desperately trying to escape this trap of homelessness.

"Our services are working tirelessly to try and help people.

"There's so many people who need our help.

"Taking a look at some of those statistics we've got highlights where people are homeless and they're really shocking numbers.

"We're in the grips of a homelessness crisis because of welfare cuts combined with not enough homes being built."

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