Homeless people in Sheffield are once again sleeping in a makeshift ‘tent city’ at Park Hill flats, almost two years after the previous one was shut down.
Two large eight man tents appeared over the weekend on waste land near South Street, outside the building’s perimeter but inside the fence erected by developer Urban Splash.
A camp of more than a dozen tents was set up at Park Hill flats in December 2016, but was closed down a month later after residents were forcibly evicted by Sheffield Council and police.
This time, organiser Anthony Cunningham says he will only keep the camp up as long as it is needed, and the tents are simply a response to the desperate situation many people find themselves in.
He said: “People sleeping rough are organising themselves once again. We’re going into 2019 with people on the streets, in tents, hotels & B&Bs.
“We will work alongside any outreach teams and housing solutions to completely destroy tent city by housing all rough sleepers.”
“Let’s hope someone from Sheffield Council pulls their finger out and finally put some kind of basic night shelter in place to ease the pressure off frontline services.”
Mr Cunningham said everyone at the camp will have their names and dates of birth sent to the housing department to check on their progress on finding somewhere to live.
Anyone found to already have accommodation will be asked to leave, he added.
On his Facebook page and Twitter feed, the activist has detailed the horrendous conditions some rough sleepers are being forced to live in, with one man reportedly trying to dig into the ground itself to find shelter.
And just days ago, a former industrial building on Rockingham Street in Sheffield city centre was boarded up by Sheffield Council after being exposed as a drug den used by up to 60 homeless people every day.
Sheffield Council weren’t immediately available for comment but two years ago, Coun Jayne Dunn, the then cabinet member for housing at Sheffield Council, said Sheffield Tent City was not a ‘safe place for people to stay’.
“There are lots of organisations in Sheffield, including the council and local charities, working very hard to help rough sleepers,” she added.