As of 2017 there are visibly more “homeless” on the streets of Reading.
Public perception can easily be that the local authority are ‘doing nothing‘ about the ‘problem‘ – nothing could be further from the truth.
There are a number of different agencies and charities working in the area of homelessness and furthermore there is a lot of joined up thinking and co-operation.
First we should point out that many street beggars are not homeless at all. They are in hostels or local authority funded housing of some sort. At risk of stereotyping, many who might approach you on the street for money are simply funding an addiction, not needing food or accommodation. Anyone saying they need money for a B&B is almost certainly not being honest with you.
Who is looking out for these people?
Reading has a commissioned homeless team in the form of St Mungos
They are out in the early hours most mornings tracking down where people are sleeping rough.
Why are they not all housed?
Quite simply put, Reading is “Full”! There is a drastic shortage of low cost accommodation.
Trying to find a vacancy with a local landlord for someone on Housing Benefit is virtually impossible.
Because of limited space and resources all local authorities these days will only house “local people”. In fact you need to prove that you have family in Reading or have lived here for 5 years.
If you speak to someone on the street and are convinced that no-one is aware of them you can record them on-line at “StreetLink”