HOMELESS people in South Derbyshire –accused of causing havoc by drinking and misbehaving in a popular park – have been praised for playing a vital role in attempts to improve it.
Charity P3 revealed that it had received several complaints from people who use Eureka Park about the behaviour of rough sleepers, which included littering, urinating in public and making the general public feel intimated.
A meeting then took place between South Derbyshire District Council, Derbyshire Police and P3 in a bid to put an end to the problem.
This was when the idea came into being that the homeless group would take responsibility for the park upkeep and work with the park keeper to manage the site.
P3 service co-ordinator Sharon Perry said: “Complaints were being raised from neighbours at various times throughout the year and the police came to the charity numerous times expressing their concerns about the problems some clients were causing.
“Our homeless group is so proud of what it has achieved with this park, they once again feel part of the community and that they are not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
“We hope that anyone passing when we’re working in Eureka Park will stop for a chat and say what a great job we’re doing.
“I feel this will mean so much to them and help their confidence grow to a point where they will no longer feel excluded from society.”