The season for winter wonderlands has begun, but snow and cold weather is not a sign of good tidings for all. CBJ Target asks if enough is being done for the homeless in the season of giving.
Temperatures are dropping as the days roll on towards Christmas. The forecast of the upcoming week alone holds a maximum of 8C falling to 1C in the evening, with winds from the north, where snowfall has begun.
Many families will be indoors in front of a Disney film shown on their television this Christmas, but the contrast to this reality could not be starker for people and families living on the streets that have no place to call home.
Nottingham City Council released statistics stating around 4,800 households approached them for homelessness assistance in 2018.
So far in 2021, Nottingham City Council Housing Aid has 1,300 open homeless cases.
The figures released by the council suggest that the homeless numbers and problem within the city is moving in the correct direction.
The reality of this is overtly different when speaking to people who are living the statistic.
Lining the walkways outside Nottingham train station are numerous rough sleepers and people asking passers-by to spare any change.
One of the men taking these spots is Louis, a 28-year-old who expressed that he had been sleeping rough for two years.
In apparent contradiction to the picture painted by the statistics, he said: “For a long time the community (of rough sleepers) in Nottingham has been getting larger and larger.”
When asked if there had been any reach out from charities or the council to improve his situations, he said: “There’s never been anybody come and offer me help or a house.”
Nottingham local Ruby Holloway also said that there had been “more (homeless) than usual for this time of year”.
She was able to point out visibly the homeless scattered in Old Market Square and around the Christmas Market.
When speaking to the rough sleepers in Old Market Square, they all echoed the conversation with Louis.
Owen talked about walking through Nottingham during the day and having to “go and sleep in a sleeping bag under stairs on the other side of town at night”.
Everyone CBJ Target spoke to said they experience serious cold and have to wear hats and scarfs.
The experience of these homeless people indicate it is an increasing community expanding throughout the city, in apparent contrast to the information released by the city council.
A number of the interviewed individuals predict about 4,000 to 5,000 individuals in Nottingham are homeless.
CBJ asked the Framework charity for comment.
If you are sleeping rough, you can contact Nottingham charity Framework on 0115 841 7711 or Emmanuel housing support centre on 0115 950 7140 for assistance.
Council suggests a 3,500 decrease in homelessness problem in 3 years