Homeless death statistics highlight health emergency of homelessness
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics reveal that homeless deaths have risen for the sixth year in a row.
There were an estimated 778 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales registered in 2019, an increase of 7.2% from 2018, and the sixth annual rise since the statistics were first published in 2013.
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, yesterday commented:
“Every single homeless death is a tragedy, and it is unacceptable that this number has continued to rise each year – particularly as no one should be homeless in the first place.
“Homeless Link believes that each death of a homeless person should be investigated, so that we can learn how to prevent these in the future, and has been calling for action on this for a long time.
“Sadly, people who become homeless typically face major health inequalities, and are dying on average 30 years younger for men and 38 years younger for women than people in the general population.
“This year, the pandemic saw the Government treat homelessness as a health issue, bringing people in to emergency accommodation, but the truth is that homelessness has always been a health emergency. We urge government to build on the excellent steps taken recently, improving access to health services and solving the structural causes of homelessness, including poverty and the inadequate welfare system, to end rough sleeping and homelessness for good.”
You can view the ONS statistics here.
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