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Homeless man dies on the street - close to where another rough sleeper was found dead

A man found dead in Chatham town centre yesterday was homeless, it has been confirmed.

Police were called to Solomons Road, Chatham at 3.20am.

The man, known locally as Greg, had been sleeping rough with a group of three friends near the entrance to a car park.

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Greg asleep at the end of Solomons Road, next to the car park
Greg asleep at the end of Solomons Road, next to the car park

His death comes less than a week after another homeless man, Michael McCluskey, was found dead in the High Street on Christmas Eve.

It's now been revealed festive shoppers walked past the lifeless figure of Mr McCluskey in an empty shop doorway, little realising he had died.

When a security guard checked on him at 11.30am, he found Mr McCluskey was dead.

Police and ambulance crews were still at the scene as families started to arrive for the pantomime at The Central Theatre next door.

The death of the father and grandfather, who was in his late 40s, has led to renewed calls for Medway Council to do more to help those living on the streets.

Liz Shaw, from the volunteer group One Big Family, said: “In this day and age there is nothing in Medway for homeless people apart from anything that volunteers run.

And Labour group leader Vince Maple added: “Yes, local councils are having budget reductions but no council should let its citizens die on its streets.”

Greg was found less than five minutes away from where Mr McCluskey had been sleeping - in an empty shop doorway near the Poundland shop and Central Theatre.

Neil Charlick, from the volunteer group Medway Street Angels, said he met with Greg's friends this morning.

"I went and bought the other guys breakfast," he said. "They are all in a bad way. They are lovely guys.

"When we first found Greg he was sleeping in the woods with just a dry cleaning bag.

"We gave him a sleeping bag and he used to go to Halfords and pick up a cardboard box to sleep on, using his coat as a pillow."

Solomons Road, Chatham. Picture: Google Street View
Solomons Road, Chatham. Picture: Google Street View

Last night was the first night Medway Council opened an emergency shelter to offer overnight help to rough sleepers.

People were assessed at Kingsley House in Gillingham and then directed to accommodation at different places around the Towns.

Enquiries are ongoing to locate Greg's next of kin.

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police was called at 3.18am on Thursday, December 29 2016 following the death of a man in Solomons Road, Chatham.

"Officers attended but the death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner."

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