A MUM-OF-TWO has launched a petition calling for derelict buildings to be turned into safehouses for those who find themselves homeless in Tendring.

Jasmin Harris works for a mental health charity and takes crisis calls during the evenings while studying a psychology and counselling degree during the day. 

As part of her everyday work, she says she has seen an increase in the number of people using emergency services, including the SOS Bus.

She has now started a petition to help those who are sleeping rough or are at risk of being made homeless in the Tendring area.

Mrs Harris petition specifically calls council bosses to explore converting disused buildings into properties for those who are having to sleep on the streets. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“I started this petition as more and more people who were using services such as the SOS Bus and Crisis Café were being faced with homelessness," she said.

“Those who are homeless in Tendring don't have a safe house or night shelter to go to and the nearest is Colchester, which would cost them money to get there and stay there.

“The council around here doesn't provide immediate accommodation, only in special circumstances, and those who are homeless are provided with a tent and sleeping bag. 

“The tents are not that waterproof. I also think everyone should have access to basic human rights such as washing facilities, somewhere to sleep and somewhere to eat and be safe. 

“Some homeless people may want to live their lives on the streets but [we need to provide] them with support or somewhere safe to go when they want to or need to.  

“People's circumstances are constantly changing and rent prices are increasing and money is getting tighter for everyone.” 

Tendring Council states on its website that finding accommodation is not always easy, due to the chronic shortage of housing. 

It states: “Although we may have a duty to prevent your homelessness or support you to find somewhere to live, this doesn’t mean that in all cases we have a duty to provide accommodation itself. 

“If you are homeless, you are very unlikely to be offered a council or housing association property due to the chronic shortage of housing.  

“There are approximately 2,000 households in Tendring who are currently on the Housing Register and there are very few available properties.   

“The help we are likely to offer you if you are homeless is advice and support for you to find privately rented accommodation.” 

Tendring Council’s housing solutions team can be reached via email at housingoptions@tendringdc.gov.uk

To sign the petition visit tinyurl.com/msh8anyj.