A SALISBURY charity continues to feed anything up to 100 vulnerable people in the city every Sunday, as well as a handful more every night during the week. 

Encircles is a homelessness, loneliness, isolation and poverty alleviation charity based in Salisbury, and run by trustee Molly Fisher and a team of volunteers.

A vital community service, it provides a free roast dinner for anything up to 100 people every Sunday, as well as providing warm food every night during the week in the Market Walk.

Salisbury Journal:

At the free roast dinners on Sundays, people from all walks of life can be found, including homeless people, young families struggling to make ends meet, or elderly people struggling on a pension.

The charity also provides emergency and long term accommodation to “vulnerable individuals faced with homelessness and our volunteers provide services to the elderly.”

Salisbury Journal:

Some of the people who spoke to the Journal during time spent with Encircles include Paul Gould, 52, who became homeless just before Christmas through the breakdown of a relationship, Daniel Zucaro, 46, who became homeless after he was supposed to receive Universal Credit but failed the Residential Test, despite having passed it a year before, Jane Kadier, 51, who was evicted from her home and has relied on services such as Alabare and Encircles for a roof over her head and warm meal, and Vincent, 53, who lost his job and said “everything sort of spiralled”.

Salisbury Journal:

Luke Ayres, 31, also found himself needing Encirlces, after the company he worked for went bust and, because he didn’t have enough savings, found himself homeless for around eight to 10 weeks.

According to data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, fewer people are sleeping on the streets of Wiltshire amid a fall in rough sleeping nationally, new data shows.

Charities have cautiously welcomed the news that the number of people bedding down outside across England has fallen for the second consecutive year, but warned urgent social housing investment is needed to heal the “gaping wound” of homelessness across the country.

The data says 18 people were “estimated” to be sleeping on the streets in Wiltshire during a spot check on one night last autumn, down from 22 in 2018.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced £236 million in additional funding to provide “move on” accommodation for up to 6,000 rough sleepers.

The Prime Minister has also appointed former homelessness tsar Dame Louise Casey to carry out a review into the causes of the problem.

Local authorities across England estimated there were 4,266 people sleeping rough on the same night last autumn.

This was a 9% decrease from the previous year when 4,677 rough sleepers were counted, however, the total is still 2,498 higher than in 2010 – an increase of 141%.

Homelessness charity St Mungo’s said the figures are “simply not good enough” and called on the Government to invest an extra £1 billion a year in services for the homeless., while housing charity Shelter says rough sleeping is just “the tip of the iceberg” of homelessness in the UK.

Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said: “It’s good news if fewer people are facing the trauma of sleeping on the streets. But the number of people sleeping rough remains well over double what it was in 2010.

“The Prime Minister rightly wants to end rough sleeping before the end of the parliament, but unless his government tackles the drought of genuinely affordable homes, homelessness isn’t going anywhere.

“You can’t put a plaster on a gaping wound. Serious investment in social housing is what’s needed. The upcoming budget is the perfect opportunity to champion a new generation of social homes and increase housing benefit, so it covers the basic cost of private rents.”

In Wiltshire, 14 of the rough sleepers recorded last autumn were male and four were female.

Of those who had their age recorded, all were 26 or over.

Nationality was recorded for 16 of the rough sleepers – 15 were UK citizens and one was from the EU.