MP out on the street to help the homeless

Homeless people have been sleeping in tents behind CMK's 99p store
Homeless people have been sleeping in tents behind CMK's 99p store

A city MP has pledged to squat alongside five homeless people who are being evicted from the tents they live in.

Four men and a woman have been camping out behind the 99p store in CMK for the past ten months.

On Tuesday, the group were served an eviction notice after complaints that rough sleepers were defecating in the woods where children play.

All five say they are desperate to find a house but the council has turned them away. However, the council claims the homeless people themselves have refused help.

Now Mark Lancaster MP says he will go down to the station himself to meet with the group to hear their side of the story.

Rachel, who was made homeless after falling behind with her rent, this week spoke exclusively to the Citizen. She said: “We are not a problem to anyone. I don’t know why people can’t just leave us alone.

“I have spoken to the council a few times, but they said I don’t fit their criteria for emergency housing because I am single and not disabled.

“None of us can claim benefits because we don’t have a permanent address, which seems unfair.”

Their out-of-sight hideout on a verge next to the railway is just a few minutes walk from where famous five spend every day begging at the station.

Rachel added: “I have to rely on people giving me money so I get to the station at 5.45am each morning.

“People are lovely. A man once gave me £100 so I bought a new tent, coat and shoes.

“Another couple paid for me to stay in the Travelodge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – it was bliss.”

A spokesman said the council has been checking on the group’s welfare and urged them to register as homeless.

He added: “Regrettably they have not engaged with us by taking this step.”