Homeless man stuck on streets for having a dog

Homeless Ian and his dog Skye. SUS-140409-124536001
Homeless Ian and his dog Skye. SUS-140409-124536001

A homeless man is being forced to sleep on the streets of Eastbourne as landlords won’t take in his dog,

Ian Skelton, who has been sleeping rough for six months with his dog Skye, has money for a deposit and first month’s rent but faces many more cold nights on the street of Eastbourne unless a willing landlord can be found.

The money was supplied by and is being held Eastbourne Borough Council until he finds a place.

“Skye has been through it all with me and there is noway I can give her up,” said Ian.

“I’ve got the money and I’m not out here begging. I just need help.”

The 42-year-old found himself in the predicament after his relationship with his now ex-partner broke down.

“It could happen to anybody,” he added.

“I’ve been on the streets of Eastbourne for two months now and was in London before that.

“I just want to try and get my life back on track but it is impossible to do without a roof over my head.”

He is currently being helped by the Salvation Army but continues to run into brick walls as far as finding accommodation goes.

They have provided him with access to their phones as well as computers so he can search for a new home.

His current regular home is outside Debenhams on Terminus Road.

When The Gazette to see him he was asked to move away from the warm confines of the store’s fire escape.

Members of the public were quick to lend their support but Ian isn’t after money as the sign he sits next to clearly states.

One member of the public, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I know how he feels as I slept rough under the pier for a few months.

“It’s ridiculous that he is in this situation. He clearly has the money to get a roof over his head and it really angers me that no-one will take him in.

“Why should he have to give up his dog? It’s the one thing he cares about more than anything.”

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “We have been helping Mr Skelton identify suitable private rented sector accommodation. It is difficult to find landlords who will take dogs though. We hope a landlord will come forward soon to offer long term accommodation to Mr Skelton and his dog.”