Possible Squatted Nightshelter in Cambridge

tony at gaia.org tony at gaia.org
Sun Nov 25 16:46:35 GMT 2001

Please read the following email as a debrief on anticipated events in
Cambridge in the next fortnight regarding a possible squatted nightshelter,
around which there will be campaigning and some media attention, possibly
including a vigil outside Cambridge Town Hall..
Homeless people here are concerned that they will receive a kicking from
police over this issue: they are already vulnerable and have asked me to
seek support from different alternative media groups to assist them in
numbers and in news coverage, to ensure success in getting shelter this
winter, and reducing deaths from the cold.
If you can help in any way, please let me know.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hannah Biddle" <hannah at cambridgehomelesspartnership.org.uk>
To: <webcrew at indymedia.org.uk>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 11:13 AM
Subject: Possible Squatted Nightshelter in Cambridge

> Hi all.
> This year the government has managed to find less homeless people sleeping
> on the streets on the night of their 'streetcounts' than in previous
> This might be because the participants in the streetcounts are looking in
> the wrong places. It might also have something to do with the police
> people on' from their usual places of shelter, just before each government
> 'streetcount.'
> It has also been suggested that the reduction in numbers of homeless
> people counted on the street reflects an increase of national government
> funding to local governments and agencies for homelessness issues. Either
> the
> council's homelessness provision is genuinely working, or else the
> streetcount
> figures are drastically and perhaps deliberately wrong.
> In a meeting with homeless people at the local day centre last week I was
> told by them that the real number of homeless people in Cambridge has gone
> up, not down.
> Whatever the case, it seems there will be people dying on the streets in
> Cambridge this year because officials say there is no need for a winter
> shelter.
> An independently employed consultant has recommended that there should be
> nightshelter this year, in a council-owned disused library, which was used
> as a nightshelter in previous years.
> The homeless people of Cambridge decided at a meeting yesterday that they
> need an emergency shelter this winter; they hope to obtain the library
> this use.
> Help will be useful from: squatters (for legal and practical help) people
> with campaigning and publicity experience, and other volunteers as
> by those who will use the shelter. The shelter will hopefully be able to
> provide shelter for those involved in setting it up and keeping it open.
> Our aim will be to have the shelter up and running by 1st December -
> by official or unofficial means.
> Any ideas?
> Please pass this on as appropriate.
> Thanks,
> Hannah.

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