Huge Swell of Support for ‘Tent City’ from Park Hill Residents
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Above: Park Hill residents visit Tent City, Photo taken by Anthony Cunningham/Donations from Park Hill residents to Tent City, photos by Fiona Finley-Barbereau
A group of residents in Park Hill’s Urban Splash development are speaking out in support of ‘Tent City’ – a local homelessness project with tents pitched next to the derelict old flats on South Street behind the Train Station, highlighting the need for more social housing and provision for homeless people in the city. Residents of Park Hill have collected food, clothing, bedding and toiletries for the people in Tent City and visited the tents, with many more in support.
Tent City aims to highlight the existing street homelessness in Sheffield, and demand proper housing and support. Residents of the Urban Splash development have come together to support that aim, feel that all of the residents of Park Hill – those in the flats and those who use the old flats for shelter – should be part of a safe community where everyone has a right to a roof over their head. The vast majority of the flats in the Park Hill complex will not be completed for years according to Urban Splash’s plans, and many homeless people have been taking shelter in the empty balconies and walkways- it’s about time people stand up and take notice of that and stop hoping it will go away.
Residents noted, in response to The Star’s article: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/homeless-camp-divides-the-community-at-park-hill-1-8217999 that they had noted no increase in anti-social behaviour or drug use and were surprised these concerns had not been raised with the local Neighbourhood Watch or on the active residents Facebook group. Those who have visited the camp will know many of the people there have been sleeping rough in the old flats anyway. In contradiction to the previous report, Tent City residents have actually been cleaning up the existing rubbish and waste in the balconies and the area is spotless and much better than before they moved in. Tent City is also organising a ‘Park Hill Clean Up’ on 20th November, and we’d encourage residents to join us from 10am to improve the whole area and address these problems by speaking to people face to face.
Some residents are currently making plans to cook breakfast for Tent City on Saturday morning in the flats to deliver in person.
Quotes from Residents:
Rosie Huzzard “Homelessness should not exist in a society where money is diverted to things like war and bailing out the banks. It’s really clear that vulnerable people are last on the list of the government and local council’s priorities. I feel like they’re more interested in a gentrified new development full of student flats, but with so many people sleeping rough here with a lack of social housing, it just smacks of social cleansing. What’s been amazing this week is that Tent City has really brought the residents of Park Hill together for a common purpose – I’ve met loads of my neighbours who I’d never even spoken to before – it’s certainly a force for good”.
Monika Kostera “We need a structural solution to social problems, we need policies putting citizens first, like in the country where I grew up, Sweden. Until that happens, we need to spread awareness and do whatever we can to help our fellow citizens. ”
Rachel Sharp “Having worked in Sheffield for the past 7 years and recently become a resident here I have noticed the unfortunate increase in the homeless community in the city. The work which Anthony and his team are doing here is inspiring and needed to protect vulnerable people. The project seems to be run by a person who has a full understanding and knowledge of the issues surrounding homelessness and also takes consideration of the wider community outside of Tent City. Homelessness is something which could affect anyone, at any time and in any circumstances. This is why I offer my support. This project raises the important question as to why more isn’t being done to address this and that is a question which has been left unanswered for too long.”
Jan Dobbernack “Park Hill is a symbol for previous attempts to create a just society, with decent living conditions and housing for everyone. It is shameful that we need the tent city to remind us of this history.”
Residents in Support
Rosie Huzzard (Tenant)
Lucy Huzzard (Tenant)
Jan Dobbernack (Owner)
Monika Kostera (Owner)
Andrew Smith (Owner)
Mick Hawker (Owner)
Victoria Lynn El-Nayal
Krzysztof Nawratek (Owner)
Parveen Afsar (Tenant)
Jerzy Kociatkiewicz (Owner)
Matty Halton (Tenant)
Catherine Fletcher (Owner)
Fabienne Colignon (Owner)
Many more residents have also donated supplies and lent their support for Tent City but have not been contactable in the past 24 hours before publishing for their names to be published.