'Well known and popular' rough sleeper from Leeds dies

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A well known and popular rough sleeper has died in Leeds.

The news of his death broke on Tuesday morning.

A man's body was found on the street

A man's body was found on the street

He is the 8th person during the last 12 months, who was found sleeping rough or staying in a homeless hostel, to die in the city.

Simon on the Streets charity has posted on its Facebook page: "Just received the tragic news that a long term rough sleeper in Leeds and one of our service users has passed away. He was a lovely man, well known to services and the public alike. RIP."

A host of tributes have been paid to the man, who has not yet been identified.

Paul Tasker said: "So tragic that this is still happening in this day and age."

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Gordon Laing, manager of Simon on the Streets, confirmed there had been a death but said: "We cannot yet confirm the identity of the dead man. He will be known to people and is known to the services.

"Even if there are beds available here in Leeds during this freezing weather, it is not that easy.

"The task for someone with severe anxiety and mental health issues having to go to a hostel or shelter for the night is just too much for them to cope with, so they end up sleeping on the streets as that is all they are able do."

As reported in The Yorkshire Evening Post's ongoing series on homelessness , Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board is due to undertake its first ever review into the safeguarding issues linked to homelessness.

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Richard Jones CBE, the board’s chairman, previously told the YEP in July: “The board is due to start a thematic Safeguarding Adults Review of the experience of several people who have been homeless and who have experienced abuse and neglect prior to their death in Leeds.”

Leeds City Council is also working on a new strategy to reduce to the number of people sleeping rough in the city after the total rose from six in 2010 to 28 in 2017.