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East Lancashire charities stretched to the limit
2:00pm Monday 30th December 2013 in News
CUTS to public services, welfare reforms and an increased cost of living mean many in East Lancashire are struggling to survive, say two welfare charities.
And now a steep rise in homelessness is feared, with eight million people nationally confessing they are just one pay cheque away from losing their homes, Jayesh Rushi, service manager for Shelter Lancashire, said the past few months have seen a huge increase in demand for the charity’s services in East Lancashire.
Possession claims made by landlords in Blackburn alone rose to 103 in the third quarter of the year, compared with 70 claims for the same period in 2012 and 74 claims in quarter two of this year.
Jayesh, who is based in Preston New Road, said: “Christmas is an especially tough time for homelessness charities as the need for services is greater and there is a greater risk involved for homeless people.
“Any sectors that may have provided emergency assistance at other points of the year have closed for the holidays.”
Since January, 1 Shelter Lancashire has helped more than 1,100 people to prevent homelessness - almost 800 of whom were from the Blackburn with Darwen area.
“One of the problems we have in East Lancashire is that there is an ‘advice desert’ – meaning there is not enough support to meet need,” Jayesh said.
Lee Gosling, manager of Emmaus in Burnley, a charity that provides beds for the homeless said: “We have come across a number of people who are living behind skips and that sort of thing.
“We are working to full capacity with have 30 people living with us.”
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