“Whilst Maggs would normally steer away from responding to political statements, as we are a charity open for all, we cannot ignore the comments made by the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.

We can confidently say that in our experience of over 30 years of working with homeless people and rough sleepers, living on the streets is NOT a lifestyle choice. The reasons for homelessness are never simple and are usually determined by a range of complex circumstances such as mental ill health, trauma, fleeing from domestic violence, and so many more complicated personal and social issues. Those people find themselves having no other option but to sleep in a tent.

Penalising those who believe they have no other option other than to sleep in a tent – by taking that simple, temporary place of security away from them – will be highly detrimental to the individual and to the many agencies, public and charitable organisations, who are working daily to intervene to make a difference by securing services and homes. Our citizens who find themselves living on the streets, possibly in tents, are certainly on the periphery of society with all the risk that that brings.

We invite our Home Secretary to visit our day centre to talk to the individuals and find out for herself why people are led to this path.”

Maggs Day Centre, charity number 700852.