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The Wakefield children who are homeless

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Dozens of children in the Wakefield district have been waking up homeless over the Christmas period.

Official figures show that more than 130 youngsters are living in temporary accommodation arranged by the council.

Others will be living in precarious homes and going to school hungry. One in five children in the district is classed as living in relative poverty.

The crisis means foodbanks, including St Catherine’s Church Centre in Belle Vue, have appealed for more donations.

The housing advice charity Shelter put the UK-wide figure for homeless children at 128,000.

And nationally, more than 9,000 people are sleeping on the streets, according to a report by MPs which slammed the government’s “complacent” attitude to the problem.

The Public Accounts Committee said: “In addition there are ‘hidden homeless’ people who are housed by family and friends in shifting circumstances, but not captured as part of the official figures.”

Wakefield’s director of public health Andrew Furber also warned of the impact on people’s wellbeing.

His annual report said: “Poor quality accommodation - cold, damp, dirty, in poor repair - impacts on both physical and mental health.

“Those that experience these factors are more likely to suffer stress, anxiety and depression.”