Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford business leaders join sleep-out to help homeless
11:00am Wednesday 22nd August 2012 in News
Businessmen and women in Bradford will be swapping their suits for a night on the streets to raise awareness of the plight of the city’s homeless.
Gary Peacock, manager of The Midland Hotel, and business mentor and charity fundraiser Andy McMenemy will join fellow executives to sleep out under the arches at Forster Square during a Suits on the Streets event organised by Inn Churches on Thursday, November 8.
Juli Thompson, manager of the project, which provides 3,000 beds for homeless people in Bradford, Halifax and Keighley , said the idea is to get businesses to sponsor their employees to sleep on the street for a night.
“It will fund all the services we provide over the winter, but it's not just about raising money. It’s about raising awareness of the situation and to let everybody know that homelessness is everybody’s problem,” she said.
Last week, the Telegraph & Argus reported how Bradford Council’s latest rough sleeper survey revealed the number of homeless people had risen from 23 in 2010-11 to 30 in 2011-12, a rise of 30 per cent. But services director Paul Gartland said the actual number was likely to be higher.
Earlier this month, a report by data experts SSentif looking at homelessness found that across Bradford, there was a 90 per cent rise in the number of families and individuals classed as homeless and in need of emergency accommodation, from 113 to 215 in the last three years.
Mrs Thompson said she hoped the sleep-out event would show how anyone could be made homeless and revealed how last year, Inn Churches helped a nurse, social worker and a truck driver who had become homeless for the first time.
“People think homeless people are drinkers and drug addicts and some are, but it’s not the case for all of them,” she said. “Homelessness can affect anyone.”
A remembrance service will be held at Bradford Cathedral from 5pm on Friday, November 9, for people who have lost friends or family through homelessness or substance misuse.
For more information about taking part, contact Mrs Thompson on 07833 450482, email email@example.com or visit innchurches.co.uk.