Homeless man David Green concerned about Derby City Council's cuts to funding for rough-sleepers
A HOMELESS man who claims he found himself on the street after a benefits error says Derby City Council's cut to funding that helps rough-sleepers could affect anyone.
David Green, 50, says his homelessness is "no fault of his own" and that people who believe the cuts could never affect them are wrong.
The council's latest budget will see the £6,569,000 it spent this year on "housing-related support" drop to £3,765,000 in 2013-14. This will mean the number of beds for the homeless in the city will be reduced from 557 to 287 by April.
Charities given grants to provide hostel, refuge, and shelter beds say this could put 800 more people on the streets over the year from April.
The stopping of the grants forms part of the council's plans to save £62 million over the next three years in the face of cuts to its grant from Government.
Mr Green, formerly of Normanton, lost his job on the production line for Boots, in Beeston, before starting to claim jobseekers' allowance.
He claimed his benefits were stopped after a letter telling him to attend a work placement meeting was delivered to a previous address.
Mr Green said: "I'd have gladly gone to the meeting but I didn't know about it. They stopped my benefits after I didn't turn up. After that I couldn't pay the bills."
He got a bed at the Padley Group's hostel, in Becket Street, last month.
He said he would still be out on the streets if it wasn't for the hostel, which is one of those that could close due to the cuts.
Mr Green said: "I've been homeless before and it was terrible.
"You have to sleep with one eye open because there's people out there who want to beat you up.
"The situation I'm in now shows it can happen to anyone. The cuts just won't work."
The authority says it is working with bed providers on contingency plans.
It will "bolster" advice and information services and is to use Government funding to pay for a new team which will help rough-sleepers by "bringing them into relevant services and keeping them off the streets".
And it says people who have "ongoing health and social care needs requiring a social worker will continue to be supported".
Padley Homeless Hostel has launched a campaign to save its 10-bed shelter.
It wants to find 4,000 people to donate £2 a month so that it can stay open.
People can pick up forms for setting up the donation at the Padley Shop, Sadler Gate, the homeless centre itself, or the Padley Development Centre, Rutland Street.