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Home truths: Mendip marks World Homeless Day with tips on how to help

Mendip District Council believes everyone deserves a home and as World Homeless Day is almost upon us (Sunday, 10th October), the Council has some wise words on the positive action you can take if you want to help, and if you see someone who you believe is rough sleeping or is homeless in the district.

 National World Homelessness Day

  • Contact StreetLink either online, via app or by calling 0300 500 0914. The more details and information provided, the better.
  • Volunteer with a local homeless organisation such as Elim Connect Centre, where our Outreach team are based.
  • Fundraise for national charities such as Crisis and Shelter, or locally Elim Connect Centre and Mendip YMCA
  • Donate - goods or money - local charities will ensure they get to people most in need. Local charities will be able to tell you what items they need the most.

Cllr Richard Pinnock, Portfolio Holder for Housing Services at Mendip District Council, said: "There is some good, solid work underway in Mendip. It's a complex issue, but we are tackling it.

"We know Mendip people are generous, and they want to make kind gestures, especially as the weather turns colder and at key times such as Christmas. They are desperate to help - and they can.

"Don't do it alone. Work with us. A co-ordinated approach with the public and experts in the field can be so effective, and will ensure those who need our shelter and support, will get the help they need."

Mendip has a hugely successful track record in tackling the issue of rough sleeping and homelessness in the area. Rough sleepers are encouraged and empowered to resolve their situation, while addressing their personal needs. We provide specific and tailored interventions, and help fund a number of excellent partners to deliver the services too, including Citizens Advice, Mendip YMCA and Elim Connect.

However, every year around 1,600 households come to the Council as homeless or at risk of homelessness. Housing need outstrips supply, and rents are going up often higher than the housing costs element of benefits. And shockingly, the average age of death of those who died while rough sleeping is just 45 years old, compared with 76 in the general population.

If you are homeless or rough sleeping, do get in touch. Come to our Council offices in Shepton Mallet, or visit one of our contact centres located in Frome, Glastonbury, Street and Wells. Local services and support are available here

Call our Housing Options Team on 0300 303 8588 or make a homeless application online