Troubling rise in London rough sleeping emphasises need for ambitious action
Homeless Link responds to the Combined Homelessness and Information Network’s (CHAIN) annual bulletin, which shows a 21% rise in the number of people seen sleeping rough by outreach workers in London in 2019/20.
The number of people seen sleeping rough in London rose to 10,726 in 2019/20, according to the CHAIN data released today. Of this total, 66% of people were seen sleeping rough for the first time. 17% of people were women – up from 10% in 2010/11 – and 8% were young people under 25.
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, comments:
“This picture of rough sleeping in London in 2019/20 is very troubling, representing a steep rise in people who have faced increasing and insurmountable pressures and been pushed into homelessness. It is probable that other parts of the country are experiencing similar trends.
“Pre-dating the crisis caused by the pandemic, this only emphasises how important it is that we continue to act urgently to bring people in and ensure that nobody returns or is new to the streets.
“The Next Steps Accommodation Programme is a good starting point. However, we need a firmer commitment to longer term funding in the forthcoming Spending Review to ensure that everyone, regardless of their immigration status, receives support and accommodation to leave homelessness behind them. On top of this, we need a new focus on preventing people from sleeping rough in the first place. We call on government and homelessness charities to remain ambitious and work together to bring #EveryoneInForGood.”
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