EVERY time you walk past a shop doorway and see a person sleeping there, you are looking at a human catastrophe.

A life in ruins.

Imagine being a young teenager walking down the High Street and seeing your grandad huddled in a sleeping bag?

The news of a £200,000 government grant to Taunton to help alleviate rough sleeping has to be welcomed but it really is no more than a sticking plaster on a major trauma.

Ten years ago, rough sleeping was barely an issue in most British towns, a rarity that would provoke surprised comment from a passer-by. Now it is shockingly routine.

So what caused the change?

READ MORE: Taunton council gets £200,000 boost to tackle rough sleeping

I’m afraid the answer is crystal clear. A decade of Conservative polices such as benefit cuts, bedroom tax and reduced social services were always going to push vulnerable people to the margins of life.

Throw in a few market-led issues, such as the rise in zero-hours contracts and the lack of real controls on private landlords, and the tragic results can be found in a shop doorway near you.

TDBC will doubtless use the extra money to support the effective Streetwise team, but don’t imagine that a bung of less than the price of an average house in Taunton will solve this awful problem.

Only a government with compassion can do that.