05:13PM, Thursday 11 January 2018
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn paid a visit to Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC) today to speak to clients and volunteers.
Joined by MP for Slough Tan Dhesi, Mr Corbyn was toured around SHOC’s Whitby Road site and learnt about the charities work.
He described the charity, connected to the Trinity Homeless Projects as ‘absolutely fantastic’.
“I wanted to meet some of the clients, come here to thank the volunteers for their hard work and also to support the campaign to get a new place for the day centre.”
SHOC are looking for a new premesis to host its service as it only has its current site until April.
“I know that Tan, our excellent local MP is working very hard on this,” added the leader of the opposition.
Reflecting on the thousands of rough sleepers, sofa surfers and other homeless people in the UK, Mr Corbyn called for more local authority funding to build homes with lifetime tennancies and for regulation of the private rental sector.
“We’ve got to support people in getting through therapy and support to get out of drug and alcohol dependency,” he added.
He said he spoke to a SHOC client who fell back into a spiral of addiction after rehabilitation treatment because he did not get enough housing support afterwards, leading him back into the same culture as before.
Mr Corbyn called reccent remarks about Windsor’s homeless by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council leader Simon Dudley as ‘crass and appauling’.
“The issue has now come to light because of his crass remarks.”
While on a skiing holiday in November, Cllr Dudley took to Twitter to urge Thames Valley Police to enforce the Vagrancy Act to move away homeless people and beggars from Windsor’s town centre before the Royal Wedding.
He said the issue was ‘largely vagrancy and begging’ and accused beggars of engaging in ‘voluntary commercial activity’.
“People beg because they’re desperate,” responded the Labour leader.
“I think Councillor Dudley might think about that before he gives us the benefit of his opinion.”
Trinity’s CEO Steve Hedley said an estimated 50 people are currently sleeping rough in Slough.
He said two years ago 14 people died in the borough’s streets and that thanks to SHOC’s health check service, only two died last year.
“If we weren’t to exist, that number is going to go through the roof,” he added.
SHOC are appealing for help from anyone who can help it find a new site.
Contact 020 8797 9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to help.
Visit www.wearetrinity.org.uk/shoc for more information on SHOC.
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