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Housing

Rhys Ifans: 'We can all tackle homelessness'

Welsh actor backs new Shelter Cymru campaign giving the public practical ways to help

When confronted by the misery of homelessness, many people are left overwhelmed and confused about whether solutions are possible.

Actor Rhys Ifans has launched a new campaign empowering people to tackle the problem. “People need to understand that homelessness is something we can all do something about,” he said.

The Welsh actor is fronting the Shelter Cymru campaign “7 ways you can end homelessness”.

Some of the proactive ways to help suggested by Ifans and Shelter Cymru include volunteering in outreach services, sending alerts to Streetlink about rough sleepers who may need help, reporting empty homes and campaigning for more affordable housing.

An end to homelessness is possible, if we work together

Ifans, who played a homeless man caught up in the Occupy movement in the 2013 play Protest Song, said: “I find it shocking that every year in Wales more than 2,800 children have to go through the trauma of homelessness. This should not be happening in the 21st century.”

“An end to homelessness is possible, if we work together,” he added.

More than 15,000 people in Wales become homeless each year, including 2,800 children with families trapped in a cycle of B&Bs and emergency accommodation.

Vulnerability to homelessness affects even more people. According to Shelter, a further 10,000 people in Wales come within days of losing their home each year, and in 2016 19,000 people used the charity’s services.

For more, go to Shelter Cymru.

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