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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Wednesday, 15 December 2010
LATH group in Crewe tackles homelessness
Sleeping on the streets
LATH wants to unite groups to help people who are sleeping rough

Homeless men over the age of 30 in the south Cheshire town of Crewe, find it harder than any other group to get the help and support they need.

That is according to new research by the Looking After The Homeless (LATH) group, which says more agencies offer support for women and young people.

LATH was set up last year to bring together charities and services already helping homeless people in Crewe.

It is planning to open a drop-in centre and homeless shelter in the town.

One of the LATH Group members, Nick (he did not want to reveal his real name), talked to BBC Radio Stoke about his experience.

Life fell apart

He described how three years ago, after his business went bankrupt, his life fell apart and very quickly he ended up penniless and on the streets of Crewe.

He said: "A major problem I had is where to go for help. Initially I went to the library and thought there must be some posters or something there to direct me for help... and there was nothing."

"Even the local police station - they had no posters or anything," he added.

"The housing people, I went to see them to see if they could help me, but it seemed to be that my age was against me. And my sex, being a male over sort of 30, there was no support."

Nick now has somewhere to live and has a job.

Major agencies

LATH comprises members from all the major agencies involved in caring for the needy and homeless of all age including CAB, Cheshire East Council, Cheshire Police, Churches Together, Connexions, Salvation Army, Samaritans, Shelter, St Vincent de Paul Society and the YMCA.

Members of the Public (including a former homeless person) are also involved and it has the support of the local MP, Mr Edward Timpson.

Its mission statement is "To ease the plight of the homeless in the Crewe area, with the long term aim of eliminating it altogether".

Anyone wishing to contact LATH about homelessness can call 01270 503364. Office is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

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