MORE than 500 children in Slough are classified as homeless, new figures show.
Charity Shelter estimates 1,130 people in Slough are homeless, equivalent to one in 140 people.
This makes Slough the area with the ninth-highest number of homeless people outside of London.
An average of 19 people are thought to be sleeping on the streets each night in Slough.
The vast majority have been provided temporary accommodation, either by the council (1,102) or another party (19).
However nearly half of the homeless in Slough are children, with 521 children living in temporary accommodation in 2022.
Slough Outreach is a local charity helping the homeless and vulnerable in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead.
Volunteers regularly make visits to those on the streets and in temporary accommodation to provide food parcels, warm clothes and essentials.
Outreach co-ordinator Shin Dhother said: “These figures are shocking but I’m sad to say these figures may be lower than the actual number of people experiencing homelessness in Slough.
“We know there are hidden homeless people sleeping on the floors of someone’s house, flats and even a room in shared properties.
“I would estimate the number of people sleeping rough in Slough is close to 40 if not more.”
With the help of local donations, free hot meals are provided to those struggling and volunteers offer an ear to those who wish to share their stories, also armed with the knowledge to signpost the vulnerable to partner organisations and the council if given consent to do so.
When asked why the figure is so high in Slough, Shin said: “People come to Slough as it’s close to London and has good transport links.
“Prisoner leavers are coming to Slough on probation and then come to us asking for food, sleeping bags and tents as they don’t have accommodation provided for them.
“We also get people coming to our outreach sessions after being discharged from the local hospital. They’re hungry and don’t have funds to feed themselves.”
Those struggling in Slough can visit Slough Job Centre which serves Slough and surrounding areas.
Shin thinks that a lot of homeless individuals remain close to the job centre, located in Yew Tree Road, as it’s easier to get to appointments.
Slough Outreach operate a seven-day service, with pop-up outreach sessions catering to around 100 people each day who are experiencing difficulties due to homelessness and the rise in the cost of living.
Shin continued: “People often get caught in a trap – especially the young ones.
“They are offered little help or guidance on how to get support from those who have a duty of care.
“If they don’t have the support of the community when they inevitably hit barriers, they’re pushed into homelessness or hidden homelessness where they may become controlled and isolated.
“The council needs to work with outreach groups to better understand the problem and work together to come up with solutions to end homelessness.
“Together we can make a difference.”
The data produced by Shelter, a national charity dedicated to helping families with housing issues, classifies someone as homeless if they are on the street or in temporary accommodation.