Homeless offered route off the streets

SIXTEEN homeless people were helped off the streets after a two-night drive to tackle rough sleeping.

Operation Reach saw more than 40 volunteers take to the streets to offer food, warmth and housing advice to homeless people.

A marquee was also set up in Ilford Town Centre to provide information on the work being done.

Sgt Seamus Hansford said: “The fact that 22 people were approached and 16 given an exit strategy is really good.

“It was really good for us to work with outside agencies.

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“We mostly stepped back and were just there to provide reassurance and support.”

Last week, the Recorder spoke to Bilal Ram Sharma, who regularly sleeps on a bench in High Road, Ilford.

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While his future is not yet clear, organisers of Operation Reach stress they are doing everything they can to help people who have ended up sleeping on the streets.

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