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Residents take to the Northallerton's streets over young homeless concerns
DOZENS of residents experienced a night sleeping rough on the streets to support a North Yorkshire homeless charity, which is experiencing rocketing demand.
About 35 Northallerton residents helped to highlight the plight of homeless young people by spending a night on the High Street on Saturday (March 2), with sleeping bags and cardboard boxes for shelter.
The event was organised by the charity, SASH, which has experienced a 90 per cent increase in demand for its services last year.
Sash organiser Sarah Ware said they were lucky with the weather on the night.
She said: “The story can be very different for those who have to sleep rough out of necessity, not choice.”
Those taking part included young people, residents, housing providers and some who have experienced homelessness first hand. Breakfast was served this morning (Sunday, March 3) by Soupa Trooper volunteers who run a weekly soup supper in Northallerton for a growing number of people in need.
“In an area like Northallerton, people say that we don’t have any homelessness,” said Hambleton District Council housing manager Helen Fielding, who helped organise the event.
“But we do. Hidden homelessness, especially amongst young people, is a really serious problem.”
Participants fundraising on the night included housing provider Broadacres, local businessman Tom Kerfoot and Hambleton councillor Bridget Fortune.
SASH prevents young people from becoming homeless by offering them a room in the home of a volunteer host for a few nights, to prevent long-term homelessness and unemployment.
Last year the charity provided 840 nights of accommodation for young people across North Yorkshire. Sleepout events are also taking place in York on Monday (March 4), Pickering on Friday (March 8) and Kirbymoorside on March 16.
For more information about volunteering or the sleep-out events, visit; www.sash-uk.org.uk or call 01904-652043.