Gravesend is one of the larger towns in Kent and like many others have those who from time to time are rough sleeping on the streets and for a variety of reasons find themselves homeless. Some can be malnourished, in need of medical help and support, but are unsure of who to turn to. Much of this goes unseen, but becomes apparent at night as uncovered by the new outreach teams from Partner agencies working with Gravesham Borough Council and also members of the Street Pastors and Foodbank teams.
The reasons for homelessness are varied and include:
- People who have lost their jobs and through a series of incidents now find themselves unable to find a place to live
- Immigrants, many of which cannot speak English, that have been trafficked on the promise of jobs and homes which didn’t materialised
- People with social and mental issues that lack proper care and support and now find themselves on the street.
Although there are local government and charitable organisations seeking to address this problem, the reality is that some will remain homeless over a period of time, and made worse during winter months if on the streets.
The aim of Sanctuary is to be one of a number of ‘first point of contacts’ for the homeless living in the area, help with their basic needs and point them to agencies who can deal with the issues that keeps them on the street.