Almost 2000 people sign petition for new homeless shelter in Sheffield

Anthony Cunningham.

Anthony Cunningham.

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Nearly 2000 people have got behind a campaign to open a new shelter for the homeless in Sheffield city centre.

A petition calling for a 'night shelter' to be created so nobody living on the streets goes without accommodation has more than 1700 signatures towards a 2500 target.

It has been launched by Anthony Cunningham - the man behind the Sheffield Tent City initiative, in which 25 homeless people have spent the last several weeks living in a camp on land near Park Hill flats.

The 31-year-old, who also lives at the camp, said there was a need to open a new permanent shelter.

He added: "After being involved with the homeless and vulnerable situation for a full year on the ground doing outreach I've noticed that there is a huge hole within the safety net of our city to keep people protected from rough sleeping and who generally find themselves homeless without warning.

"What myself and volunteers from Sheffield and surrounding areas plan to do next is open a night shelter within Sheffield city centre where not one single person will find themselves in need of help ever again."

Once the target is reached, he plans to present it to project leaders at the L.I.F.E (a new beginning) scheme - which also works with the homeless in the hope of turning the plans into a reality.

Meanwhile, Sheffield Council is preparing to evict homeless people from the Tent City site after being granted an interim possession order at court, which gives the authority the power to evict people within 24 hours. .

Another hearing is due to take place on February 3 to grant the council a permanent possession order.

Volunteers launched Sheffield Tent City after claiming there was not enough help being offered by the authorities.

Sheffield Council and project leaders at the Cathedral Archer project have refuted this.

A council spokesperson said: "Outreach workers have spent a lot of time at Tent City and, to the very best of our knowledge, everyone there either has somewhere to stay or has been offered accommodation.”