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Winter is coming: Back our campaign to help the homeless in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:39 07 December 2017

Four members of the homeless community have died in Redbridge in one month

Four members of the homeless community have died in Redbridge in one month

Archant

Today the Recorder launches a campaign to help make this winter a little warmer for those sleeping rough.

Homelessness in Redbridge infographic. Pic: Rosaleen Fenton/InfogramHomelessness in Redbridge infographic. Pic: Rosaleen Fenton/Infogram

Four men from Redbridge’s homeless community died in the last two weeks of November.

The news of the tragic deaths, which are not believed to be suspicious, prompted us at the Recorder to consider what we could do to help.

According to national homeless charity Shelter, one in 48 people in Redbridge are homeless.

They come from all walks of life, and are all ages and ethnicities.

You will have seen people sleeping behind Bodgers, in, shop entrances around Ilford town centre, and in parks across Redbridge.

The average life expectancy of rough sleepers is 47 years, and they are 17 times more likely to have been a victim of violence in the last year.

In May, homeless man Hassaman Ettakkal, 54, was found beaten to death by a burnt out car in Goodmayes.

Last week, his attacker Adil Mahmood pleaded guilty to arson and manslaughter at the Old Bailey.

It is a situation that shames the borough.

And across Redbridge, more people than ever before live in precarious housing situations.

Currently, 6,197 people in the borough live in temporary accommodation.

Over the next six weeks, the Recorder intends to help those who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness by raising awareness.

We will be interviewing rough sleepers and the amazing services including the Welcome Centre and Single Homeless Project that are trying to help them.

To kick off our campaign, we have an open letter to Redbridge residents from ‘The Invisible Man’, a rough sleeper in Ilford who blogs about his life.

We will also be showing the good work being done by selfless volunteers who dedicate their time to helping others.

Every one of them is a hero.

And you can be too - alongside promoting the good work taking place, we’ll also be showing you practical ways that you can help.

Today, we are launching our campaign to raise £2,500 for the Ilford Salvation Army.

The money will be used to fund a caseworker who helps rough sleepers who have no access to public funds.

If you can’t donate don’t worry, keep an eye on our website for other ways you can help.

It’s time for action.

Join us.

Donate to the campaign here: justgiving.com/fundraising/ilfordrecorderwintercampaign

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