Author: Livio Caferoglu

Harlow facing homeless crisis

THE PROJECT officer for Harlow’s Streets2Homes scheme has admitted that the town is facing a “ridiculous” homelessness crisis. Keiron Mitchell, who coordinates homeless housing projects for Streets2Homes only knows the situation too well. As coordinator for the registered Harlow charity, he focuses on meeting the needs of vagrant people in the area. “Our idea is to empower homeless people and enable them to make positive changes, plus tend to their immediate needs, putting food in someone’s belly and in terms of employment,” he said. “Homelessness in Harlow is high. There’s been a ridiculous increase in three years. An estimated...

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‘Mental health linked to homelessness’

THE CEO of the Streets2Homes scheme has revealed that over a third of its homeless clientele are suffering from mental health problems. However, only 46 per cent of that 35 per cent accepted they had a mental health condition; prompting Kerrie Eastman to admit the “taboo” still existed. She said: “They treat symptoms of bad mental health as it being ‘their norm.’” “It’s still considered a taboo, especially among the older generation.” Statistics go some way towards explaining Eastman’s stance. Seventy-one per cent of Streets2Homes’ intake is male. She continued: “There’s still the idea that men are supposed to portray that rugged, masculine image.” Her claim about the older generation may also ring true, given a combined 32 per cent belong to the 40-49 and 50-59 age groups. “Many of the people at Streets2Homes don’t have any family members that can refer them for mental health problems.” This reluctance has possibly led to one damning statistic that “most” of the 200-plus people eligible to bid for one-bedroom, council-owned apartments are turned away due to not being considered a “priority.” The council’s priority lies with homeless people that have severe medical conditions, such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, and Eastman felt a greater acceptance of mental health problems would lead to more occupancies. Harlow is among the 30 per cent most deprived towns in the United Kingdom, with 394 people referred to...

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Egg-cellent Easter awaits Harlow

EASTER is almost upon us, and what better place to celebrate it than in your very own Harlow? From live performances and Easter-egg hunts to fun and games for all the family, Harlow has plenty on offer to suit all ages and tastes. The town’s annual Easter egg hunt at Herts and Essex Community Farm will take place on Saturday, April 15. Fancy dress prizes, craft, tea, coffee, cake and light refreshments will be available. The farm also has full wheelchair and pram access, with free admission for adults. Alternatively, there is a full programme for children at Harlow Leisurezone. Swimming crash courses will run for both beginners and improvers over the half term, while the Tots Activity Morning on Thursday, April 20 promises an hour-and-a-half of activities for little ones at just £3.70 per head. Another Easter egg giveaway will also take place in the annual Water Gardens event on Saturday April 15. The Easter Bunny will be present from 11am, and over 1,000 chocolate eggs will be given out to children every hour. On Monday, April 17, Pets’ Corner in Harlow Town Park is having an Easter Family Fun Day, as part of Harlow’s 70-year anniversary celebrations and the park’s 60 years. The sanctuary contains cows, horses, pigs, reindeer, llamas, rabbits, chickens, ducks and new lambs, and entry is free for all ages. Donations are also welcome....

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