Former mayor in plea for night shelter for homeless in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 10:15 15 July 2009 | UPDATED: 23:49 15 June 2010

Former mayor of Honiton Joanna Bull.

Former mayor of Honiton Joanna Bull.

THE plight of a destitute man, living on the streets of Honiton, has prompted calls for a night shelter to be established in the town.

THE plight of a destitute man, living on the streets of Honiton, has prompted calls for a night shelter to be established in the town.

Former three times mayor of Honiton Joanna Bull says she has had sleepless nights, worrying about a "gentleman of the road".

"I have seen him and I have spoken to him," she said.

"I am deeply concerned that he is sleeping rough in the pouring rain.

"I saw him sitting outside a charity shop and nobody helped him. I want to stress, he was not begging."

Mrs Bull is concerned that Christian charity is lacking in Honiton when it comes to helping those most in need in the community.

"With all these churches in Honiton, why is it that not one is open to provide shelter for this gentleman of the road?" she asked.

"He is quite shy and was embarrassed when I approached him and ensured he had something to eat and water.

"He wasn't a drunk; he was just a poor old gentleman. I had a bad couple of nights thinking about him."

Mrs Bull isn't the only resident to express concern.

In a letter to the Herald, Yvette Jeeves, of Honiton, said: "For the last couple of weeks, I have noticed a homeless man in Honiton town centre.

"He is huddled in some corner, his worldly goods in plastic bags.

"Hundreds of people walk by, but I'm not sure if anyone notices him. He might as well be a bag of rubbish left for the dustbin men.

"Who do you approach for help?

"Surely, councils have some responsibility for these lost souls?"

Mrs Jeeves is concerned the man could die on a street in Honiton.

She said: "After all is said and done, he is a human being and should be treated as one.

"He is not begging, he just looks so alone and helpless."

n Are you prepared to be a volunteer to run a night shelter in Honiton, as and when necessary? Do you have a church, room or building that could be used to provide shelter for the homeless at night during poor weather conditions?

Contact Herald editor Belinda Bennett on (01392) 888488.

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