Citizen launches Help Our Homeless campaign
After a year where homelessness was scarcely out of the headlines, the Citizen has no hesitation in choosing our official campaign for 2017.
Help Our Homeless will be pushing relentlessly to get rough sleepers all over the city safely housed, warm and fed by the end of the year.
We will join forces with the council, charities, voluntary groups and members of the homeless and tent-dwelling community in a bid to achieve this goal.
The Citizen will promote individual initiatives such as the MK Bus Shelter Project, which is a bid to convert a disused double decker into sleeping pods.
We will continue to support the Winter Night Shelter in its efforts to expand and become permanent.
And we will be pushing for disused buildings to be converted into emergency shelters.
Last year the public was horrified to hear that three rough sleepers died on the streets of Milton Keynes. Yet during this time the number of homeless people sleeping rough has more than doubled.
Charities, politicians and activists alike agree that what MK needs is a permanent emergency shelter facility with dozens of beds together with full support services for those with drug, alcohol or mental health problems.
MK Citizen editor Olga Norford, said: ““We are campaigning for a shelter big enough to help every rough sleeper in MK. We will do everything we possibly can as a newspaper to make this happen in 2017.”
MK Council found 78 rough sleepers when it carried out a headcount on a single day during the first week of December 2016.
People’s Assembly spokesman Kevin Vickers is convinced there more than 100 rough sleepers - perhaps even as many as 200 - tucked away in hidden parts of MK.