Compassion and care for rough sleepers is needed

A rough sleeper
A rough sleeper

In response to Gyillmar Horsfield’s concerns (letters October 11) about the increase of people sleeping rough in Chichester, I would like to point out a few things.

The night shelter St Joseph’s has ten bedrooms, and people wishing to access its facilities are asked to first visit the day centre at St Cyriacs.

The night shelter offers long stay, and both are run by Stonepillow.

Although rough sleepers may seem scary or even intimidating, I don’t think it’s fair to refer to them as ‘these people’ nor as them ‘blighting our parks’.

It is also highly speculative and misinformed to suggest that because chemists in Chichester are able to dispense methadone, that it is the cause of the increase of the homeless, and also implies that all homeless people are on drugs which is just not the case.

No one can go into a chemist and get methadone. It must be prescribed by a GP just like all non over the counter drugs.

It is worrying that people are having to squat for long periods in parks and take shelter wherever they can, in fact these people that you mention are just that , people, human, without the safety of the basic things in life.

If you feel that action should be taken then you may like to consider making a donation, 50p covers the cost at the day centre, City Angels do a great job too as well as Stonepillow.

There will always be people in need who will and can accept help when it’s offered; without some compassion and a bit of care from communities the number of people affected by homelessness and what that brings will increase.

Jo Burton, Haleybridge Walk, Tangmere