Monday, 20 June 2011

10% rise in people sleeping rough on the streets of London

There has been a near 10% increase in the total number of people seen sleeping rough in London compared to last year, according to homelessness charity Broadway. In 2010/11 the total number of people seen sleeping on the streets of London rose by eight percent from the previous year, it said. However, Outreach teams continued to help people to leave the streets, it said, moving 1,372 people into accommodation and assisting 326 people to return to a home area or an area where they could access appropriate services.

These figures are contained in the annual report on rough sleeping figures in London released today. The report, Street to Home Bulletin 2010/11, presents information about people seen rough sleeping by Outreach teams in London and those who have accessed accommodation for rough sleepers in London in 2010/11. Information is from the ‘Combined Homelessness and Information Network’ (CHAIN), a database commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority and managed by Broadway.

The headline findings from the Street to Home Report 2010/11 include:

~ 3,975 people were seen rough sleeping in 2010/11

~ 28% of those seen sleeping rough were from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007.

~ Just 4 people under 18 were contacted and only 8% of those seen sleeping rough throughout the year were under 25.

~ Amongst UK nationals, 3% (36 people) were known to have served in the armed forces at some point.

The statistics in the report are based on information collected by outreach workers and recorded on the CHAIN system over a 12-month period.

Richard Blakeway, Mayor of London's Housing Advisor said: "Ending rough sleeping in London by 2012 is a tough challenge but one which the Mayor is more determined than ever to achieve. Today's CHAIN figures clearly show we have work to do but they also show that significant progress has been made.

“There has been a 75 per cent drop in the number of the most entrenched rough sleepers living on London's streets and the introduction of a new rapid response project now means more than half of all rough sleepers spend just one night on the street.  With the £34m recently secured by the Mayor from Government to tackle rough sleeping, we will now be able to support even more rough sleepers off London's streets to rebuild their lives over the coming year."

Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of Broadway, said: “We know exactly the size of the task facing us if we want to reduce rough sleeping to as near to zero as possible by the end of 2012.  We believe that as long as resources are used in the right way and we continue to work together towards this common aim then we can continue to make a positive and long-lasting difference in the lives of people who end up having to sleep rough in London.”

Ross Macmillan for