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350 Seek Help For Homelessness

Homelessness Jersey is warning of a 'ticking time bomb' as it teams with other charities to highlight the issues with housing.

It says high house prices, rents and living costs are pushing more vulnerable people into temporary accommodation.

Yet there is still no official figure for the number of homeless people in the island, and 'the full scale of homelessness in Jersey remains unclear'.

That is despite the Housing Minister publishing a formal definition on World Homeless Day last year. 

"The Government’s homelessness definition sets out 13 categories of homelessness, but without reliable data to identify the categories that are most affected, the Government will continue to be in the dark in trying to formulate preventative polices.” -  John Hodge, director of The Shelter Trust.

So far this year, more than 350 have turned to charities and accommodation-providers for help.

Homeless charities are teaming up to raise awareness by demonstrating some of the scenarios that lead to homelessness.

Across town, in West's Centre and at the end of Don Street, five scenes are being performed by actors.

Organisations involved include the Jersey Association for Youth and Friendship (JAYF), Jersey Women's Refuge, Causeway and the Shelter Trust.

William Church, Executive Officer of Homelessness Jersey, says it is better if charities unite.

"People are very much behind that."

"They all do a slightly different job, so some look after men, some look after women, Causeway look after pregnant women, and JAYF is for young people, 16 to 25-year-olds."

The displays show the different forms of homelessness, including hidden homelessness, which involves sofa-surfing, staying in unsafe accommodation and living in temporary rooms.

Islanders are being encouraged to scan the QR codes around town to learn more about what the issue looks like in Jersey.

"A lot of people think that homelessness is about sleeping rough on the street, but actually there's a lot of hidden homelessness [in the island]."

“World Homeless Day provides opportunities for Islanders to get involved in responding to homelessness, and to ask our politicians what they are doing to understand the true extent of homelessness and how they propose to improve policies to tackle the causes, not just the symptoms.” - Simon Burgess the independent Chair of the Jersey Homelessness Strategic Board.

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