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Efforts being made to help homeless man who spent Christmas in a tent

Will Taylor

Reporter:

Will Taylor

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Efforts are underway to find a warm bed for a homeless man who spent Christmas living in a tent on North Town Moor.

Kristian Rusimov, 33, from Bulgaria, worked as a delivery driver before losing his job in August, and became homeless that month.

After being alerted to his plight by the Advertiser the council sent community wardens to find him and offer support.

Speaking yesterday, Kristian said: “I was not even able to sleep last night, it was so cold. I need a place to stay.”

His family live in his home country and he was unsure what his next move would be.

Kristian hopes to find a new job but said it was difficult to do so without a permanent address.

He was unaware the council had recently pledged any homeless person seeking help would not need to sleep rough overnight by putting them in temporary accommodation – which could include the town hall.

While a place to stay overnight would help, Kristian said he really needed a permanent address to help him get back on his feet and find a job.

Meanwhile, building work is finished on accommodation for the homeless in a joint project between the Brett Foundation and the Royal Borough.

Sue Brett, founder of the Brett Foundation, confirmed the house in Howarth Road should open in the first few weeks of January, once contracts are finalised.

Sue said she was aware of Kristian’s case and had tried to get in touch with him too.

He has been helped by Simon Hosley, a bricklayer from Cordwallis Road, who had first walked past his tent in August and has provided essentials like clothing.

Simon said: “The whole town is growing and people are getting forgotten. There’s still going to be other people left out in the cold.

“I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worried about this fellow.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We are committed to ensuring our residents have a safe place to sleep in the winter months.

“Vulnerable residents are likely to hear about the service we offer though word of mouth from the range of charity, faith groups and other public services who work with those most at risk.”

He urged anyone seeking help to apply for assistance at the town hall in St Ives Road or York House, in Sheet Street, Windsor.

Update 3.28pm: Leader of the council Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) tweeted the Advertiser today (Thursday) to say the council has sorted temporary accommodation, costing £420. He added: "We are hopeful the gentleman will get a new job and home early in 2017."

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