PETE Glynn sleeps in a tent in Winchester city centre. He complains that the ducks pinch his bread and that petty thieves steal his books.

"There's nothing wrong with self-respect and cleanliness," he said. "I live near the river so I wash there.

"I don't like being homeless. In a way there's no need to be. Some people live in a big house. They might have a cellar or a garage they are not using. I could live in a garage."

In an area which, according to The Daily Telegraph, stands 34th in a list of places with the largest number of affluent people and where the average house price is nearly £200,000, at least 10 people sleep rough every night, according to Trinity Centre statistics.

The Nightshelter, in Jewry Street, has beds for 17 people but manager, Jonathan Walker, said it would never meet the need of all the city's homeless.

Pete (55) says he came to Winchester after the death of someone he had looked after for 11 years.

He is a thoughtful man who last month appeared on BBC's Kilroy to talk about homelessness.

"I chose Winchester because the Romans came here," he said. "I have always been interested in history; I read history books and write poems about it.

"I have a lot of friends here. If they don't see me for a while, they ask after me. There are some nice people around.

"A lot of the community look down on us. All right, there has been trouble with drugs and drink, but the problem is that people tar us all with the same brush. If you give people a chance, you can bring out the best in them.

"I have no animosity against anybody. If people have earned the roof over their head and have worked to obtain it, fair enough. I'm only bitter when I lose something I like, such as my history books.

"You can pull yourself up; it can be done. But to get back to my studying and writing, I need a roof, I can't do a lot in a tent."

Pete attends the Trinity Centre most days, although he also works at a Winnall petrol station as a cleaner.

He is studying art, cookery and creative writing at the centre's free classes and he says he was using their services to try to find more permanent housing.

Pete stayed at the city nightshelter when he first arrived in Winchester two years ago, but it operates a strict 28-day maximum stay rule and he has moved around since leaving. He has lived in his tent, near the art college, for about six months.

Nightshelter manager, Jonathan, says the majority of his clients are middle-aged men.

Since April last year, 89 men over 40 have stayed in the building, as well as 124 between 25 and 40 and 65 under 25s.

This compares with a total of only 40 women.

"We don't get the traditional tramps - generally they're happy to live on the streets," he added.

"This place doesn't meet all the need. I don't think it ever will. There will always be people who want to stay outside. We're not an agency that offers a great deal of support. We offer a bed, a meal and a bit of breakfast."

Reacting to suggestions that places like the nightshelter and Trinity Centre attract homeless people to Winchester, Jonathan said: "Certainly we are popular and I know that we have a good reputation.

"People come from far and wide. I get phone calls from people in Scotland asking if there's a bed in Winchester. I tell them, unless there's a local connection, it's best not to come.

"It's a problem that we get this influx. People have a limited time to stay here, and before you know it you have a multitude of people on the streets who initially came looking for accommodation.

"We don't tell people to come, but if they are really desperate, we're a direct access shelter and we wouldn't turn people away."

Finding volunteers was always a struggle, he said, but Winchester people were generous with money and appeal responses.

"You only have to mention that you want a Christmas pudding and you get 50," he added.

This Sunday is Homelessness Sunday, when churches around Winchester and Southampton will be collecting food, toiletries and clothes for people on the streets.

The Winchester Nightshelter will be open to prospective volunteers from 10.30am to 1pm, when staff and guests will show the visitors round.

To find out about volunteering at the shelter, call Jonathan on 01962-862050.