Home   Thanet   News   Article

Homeless family living in tents on Margate Main Sands

A destitute family and their pets are sleeping in tents on Margate Main Sands after being evicted from their flat.

Hunkered down beneath the slipway, which is opposite Dreamland, the bitter coastal winds and rain have forced them into makeshift homes as they struggle to keep warm.

The trio, together with two dogs and a cat, have been on the streets for three months after they left a relative's house in Garlinge.

Sharon Jones, 51, her partner Callum Fallowfield, 29, and sister Carol Blake have been sofa surfing following the death of their mother in Sandwich.

The mum-of-two says they then stayed for a while with another sister in Garlinge before being asked to leave.

She said: "I got made homeless by my sister and her partner, we have been trying to get help from Thanet District Council, Dover District Council and Porchlight and this is where we have ended up.

"We have been on the streets for three months; it was hot then (July) but now it's horrible."

Carol Blake, Callum Fallowfield and Sharon Jones (5082676)
Carol Blake, Callum Fallowfield and Sharon Jones (5082676)

She added: "We get food vouchers but that's only once a week and they are giving us things that we can't cook because we have nothing to cook with.

"We only get a tiny bit of money, it's not easy to survive.

"I have got health problems and so has my sister. My partner is the only one that is OK."

Sharon's 19-year-old daughter Charlotte also stays with them when she is not with her boyfriend in Ramsgate.

Carol, 57, says they had been caring for their sick mother in Sandwich and were evicted after she tragically died of cancer.

"I was made homeless after my mum died. Me and Charlotte were living there when she passed away.

"It was only one bedroomed and we should not have been there but I was not going to leave my mum. She died of cancer and we had 28 days to get out.

Nestled away on the Main Sands near the TS Eliot shelter and Dreamland (5082686)
Nestled away on the Main Sands near the TS Eliot shelter and Dreamland (5082686)

They returned to Thanet where they used to live, but cannot be helped as they have lived out of the area for more than seven years.

Carol refuses to give up her beloved dogs as they provide comfort and security.

"We want a roof over our heads I would take a barn or a shed, I really would; we just want to get out of the cold," she said.

Homeless charity Porchlight say they are seeing unprecedented demand with some rough sleepers requiring extra help

But Chris Burgess, head of homelessness services, says they are doing everything they can to help. “Wherever possible, we encourage people to return to the area where they have a local connection as they may more be eligible and better able to secure accommodation.

“Most people are helped quickly but some of the individuals we work with on the streets have more complex needs so it may take longer to change their circumstances.

The tents are all the family have (5082681)
The tents are all the family have (5082681)

"We’re doing everything we can to help, working in partnership with local authorities to give people the joined up support they need to move away from the streets for good.”

Cllr Lesley Game, cabinet member for housing at Thanet District Council, said: "We are aware that there is a group of people staying in tents on Margate Main Sands and have been working with them to provide the most appropriate support.

"The council's community safety team along with the multi-agency Rise team, which is dedicated to helping people in the district who are rough sleeping, have visited the group to identify any barriers to accommodation and give appropriate advice.

"This support may also include advice about their eligibility for accommodation if they were to return back to an area where they recently lived or where they have a local connection.

Carol Blake, Callum Fallowfield and Sharon Jones (5082674)
Carol Blake, Callum Fallowfield and Sharon Jones (5082674)

"It’s important to remember when people find themselves rough sleeping it is often due to a range of complex issues and there isn't always a quick fix.

"Details of available support provision in the Thanet area can be found on the Porchlight website and at thanet.gov.uk/roughsleeping.

"The Thanet RISE team also hold drop-ins on Tuesdays at the GAP Baptist Church, Broadstairs, 2-4pm, Wednesdays at the Margate Gateway, Cecil Street, 09.30-12pm, or Friday at the Aspire Centre, Global Generation, Westwood Industrial Estate, Westwood Cross, 10-2pm."

If you are concerned about somebody who is rough sleeping, contact Porchlight on 0800 567 7699.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More