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What’s behind the quiet rise of homelessness in the countryside?

Take a drive through the Mendip hills in Somerset and you’ll come across some beautiful countryside sights: fresh mist rolling over green hills dotted with welly-clad dog walkers. Look more carefully, however, and you find people living a very different life.

Starting at the crack of dawn, Stephen Fowler, manager of the Dairy House hostel, is conducting a tour of the area’s “homeless haunts”. On the long drive taking in the market towns of Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet and Frome, he revisits the spots where outreach workers from his hostel have discovered people on previous tours.

“People assume there’s no poverty in an area like this but there is,” says Fowler, who points out that it’s often hidden. “If you’re going to rough sleep around here, it’s [usually] in the hedge rather than the shop doorway.”

To read the full article in The Guardian click HERE

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