Local councillor John D Clare is planning to ‘sleep rough’ to raise money to support a North-East homelessness charity.
CEO Sleepout’s event in Stockton this week has been organised by Mantis Media managing editor Martin Walker – editor of Aycliffe Today and its sister publication, Tees Business – and DNA PR & Publicity boss Dave Allan.
Cllr Clare, a former Greenfield teacher and deputy head, will join more than 50 company bosses and leading business figures from around Teesside for Thursday night’s fundraiser.
The group has already raised more than £20,000 for CEO Sleepout, with the cash helping to fund a not-for-profit restaurant which will provide catering jobs for people who have been homeless, as well as recovering addicts and alcoholics, and those recently released from prison.
The Sleepout event takes place on Thursday (12th May, 8pm to 6am).
“Enduring homelessness is rarely merely the absence of a house,” said Cllr Clare.
“It is often the result of a complex set of problems, which not only throw the person onto the street, but then prevent them from picking up the pieces and starting again.
“They therefore need us to offer a ‘help up’, and this idea will provide the opportunity to develop the routines, skills and self-belief to break the cycle.
“I cannot experience the discomfort, danger or despair of someone really sleeping rough. But I can raise awareness of this growing problem, and raise money to support this proactive initiative.”
• The number of homeless people has doubled in the last five years.
• If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, Durham County Council’s Housing Solutions team – bit.ly/DCChomeless – can help; phone 03000 26 8000 (office hours) or 01388 722 538 (out of hours).
• If you see a rough sleeper, report it to ‘No Second Night Out’ by phoning 0300 500 0914.