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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 10:34 GMT
Support call for homeless Poles
The ramshackle hut in Llanelli
The hut the three men were living in has been burnt out
Llanelli's Polish centre says help must be available for migrant workers who come to Wales but end up homeless.

It, along with the British Red Cross, is paying for temporary shelter for three Poles who were found living rough in the town after losing their jobs.

The centre said the men had been left penniless and had no way of returning to Poland.

Carmarthenshire Council said it was the first incident of its type and it was working with partners for a solution.

The centre's chairman Jeff Hopkins said the men, two brothers in their late 20s and another man in his 40s, had been brought to Wales by a recruitment agency.

All initially had work but were laid off and ended up homeless.

They lived in a "shanty" hut near the town centre and then moved on to sleeping in a makeshift den in woodland near the Jack Nicklaus golf course development.

They don't fall into any of the categories of support under the British system
Jeff Hopkins

Mr Hopkins said: "They are all keen to work but lost their jobs."

He said the centre and British Red Cross were paying to put them up in temporary accommodation at the moment.

"We are attempting to find work for them but the problem is we don't have the funding to keep paying for the accommodation and they have got no means of support.

"They don't fall into any of the categories of support under the British system."

Llanelli has a Polish migrant community of around 1,500 with many working in agriculture and the meat packaging industry.

Jeff Collins, director of the Red Cross in Wales, said it had provided a "small amount of funding" to make sure that the men were housed somewhere "warm and safe".

Carmarthenshire council's head of housing Robin Staines said: "This is the first incident of this type in the county involving migrant workers.

"We are working closely with voluntary sector partners and local Polish groups to identify potential accommodation solutions for those concerned.

"This will be based on an individual assessment of needs, why they left their previous accommodation and their status in terms of eligibility to receive public services."

  • The hut they were initially living in close to Avis Terrace has been burnt out but police said they were not treating it as suspicious.

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