Homelessness has been a growing issue within Teesside with more and more registered homeless people each year.
56 people applied to Middlesbrough Council for homeless status in the first three quarters of 2015.
In the first three quarters of 2016 there had been 75 applications made according to www.homeless.org.uk
This is not the first year that the numbers have increased in the Middlesbrough area.
The number of homeless applications have been rising steadily over the last seven years.
These rises in the number of homeless people have lead to a severe strain on the resources of organisations such as The Salvation Army as well as the council itself as they try and support homeless individuals.
38- year- old Peter has been affected by homelessness since 2013.
He said: “I have noticed that when I first put in a homeless application there seemed to be a lot more support, or at least the support that was available seemed to be more accessible.”
“I’m not trying to say we’re owed anything but we do appreciate whatever help we can get and the fact that we no longer have as much of it makes it harder and harder to cope.”
There are dozens of people like Peter becoming homeless each year in Middlesbrough yet many people don’t even realize.
One of the biggest issues for homeless people is health care.
They are unable to register at many doctors’ surgeries as they have no fixed abode within the UK.
This inability to see medical professionals can lead to a lot of homeless people becoming severely ill from relatively simple ailments such as dental abscesses and chest infections.
The only option most homeless people have in terms of health care are accident and emergency units such as the one at James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.
This often leads to A&E units having even more pressure put onto them as they try to treat people who in many cases have no medical information to speak of.
Kelly Dennis, a local NHS receptionist, said: “At the surgery where I work we have had an increase in the amount of homeless people that attempt to book appointments through us but we as a surgery can’t do anything to help them in terms of treatment.”
“The hardest thing is telling them we can’t help when many of them have no other options, it’s heartbreaking.”
Remaining healthy is mad even more difficult due to the lack of regular meals and nutrition available to the homeless of Middlesbrough.
Although the local food bank does help in whatever way it can, a person must be referred it by an external organisation of health visito, something that many of these people are unable to see.
This lack of contact means that some homeless people haven’t got the help that they need.
If you would like to get involved in helping to resolve the issue of homelessness in our community, here are some helpful places you can look: