PEOPLE have reacted with shock and sympathy after a young homeless woman who was living in Gosport town centre died.
The 21-year-old was found by police in the High Street needing emergency assistance at 6.49am last Friday morning.
Despite being rushed to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, she later died.
Christine Hargrave was among many who commented on the story on The News Facebook page.
She said: ‘How very sad. Homeless at 20 years old, she should have had her whole life in front of her. RIP sweetheart.’
Now Gosport Borough Council, whose officers visited the young woman on ‘numerous occasions’, has said that it had tried to help her.
Something has to be done, there must be a way.Martin Curtis, 64, from Gosport
Councillor Graham Burgess, deputy leader of the council, confirmed that the woman was a rough sleeper that the council had sought to assist.
He said: ‘The woman who died had been visited by our housing officers for quite some time and was just one of the rough sleepers that the council is seeking to help off our streets.
‘Some accept help, others refuse it. As a council we are doing all we can to help combat homelessness in the area and provide support to Gosport’s rough sleepers.’
A 54-year-old, who has been sleeping rough in Gosport for a short while, said that homelessness was growing in the town centre.
The man, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘There are lots of homeless people on the High Street. They have all come in from Fareham because they have been moved on by the police.’
He pointed to the public toilets in the town centre in Jamaica Close and ferry terminal as a place where the town sleepers were known to take drugs.
The council closed the public toilets last week after various drug paraphernalia was regularly discovered and rough sleepers were found to have used them for shelter.
In addition to this, the council is also seeking a public space protection order (PSPO) to help crack down on tackling disorder in the town.
Martin Curtis, 64, who sells photographs in the High Street questioned the decision to close the toilets,
He said: ‘I think the council should keep the toilets open, and team up with police in some way to help these homeless people.’
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP, said: ‘The death of this young woman in such tragic circumstances is very upsetting and shows why the government’s homelessness reduction bill is so necessary.’
A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said the woman’s death was not being treated as suspicious.