MORE than three-quarters of people in the region feel powerless to help the homeless, new research has shown.

A poll published by the homelessness charity Crisis also found that 41 per cent of respondents in Yorkshire and Humberside felt nervous about approaching people living on the streets.

Jon Sparkes, for Crisis, said: “People care about homelessness and they want to help, but uncertainty and nervousness are stopping them.

“We all need the same basic things – shelter, food and to be treated with dignity.

“Homelessness is incredibly isolating and lonely.

“Many people we work with tell us that not being acknowledged or treated as a fellow human being can be just as painful as the physical hardships. A friendly hello or quick chat is often as welcome as buying a hot drink or some food.”

He said there were a number of immediate things people could do to help – such as contacting Streetlink to connect the person with homelessness services in the area, calling 999 if you have immediate concerns for their welfare, asking them if there’s anything they need – such as warm clothing or blankets – or simply stopping for a chat.

Mr Sparkes added: “There are so many ways people can help – whether it’s giving directly to someone experiencing homelessness or, as we find ourselves in the run up to a General Election, raising the issue with your parliamentary candidates.”