From Welfare Weekly: More than 24,000 people in Britain will spend Christmas sleeping rough, on public transport, or in tents, according to worrying new research from one of the UK’s largest homelessness charities.
The research, commissioned by national homelessness charity Crisis and undertaken by Heriot-Watt University shows that 12,300 people are currently sleeping rough on the street and nearly 12,000 are spending their nights in cars, trains, buses or tents.
The number of people sleeping rough in England is more than double what government statistics suggest. Those are based solely on local authority estimates using local information or a physical count on one given night.
Crisis and Heriot-Watt’s research completes the picture by collating the government figures with other crucial sources of data. These include academic studies, statutory statistics, and data from other support services that record people’s experiences of sleeping rough which aren’t captured in the government’s count.
Shockingly, between 2012 and 2017, the numbers have soared by 120% in England and 63% in Wales. Numbers in Scotland fell by 6% over the same period.
Those sleeping without a roof over their head are constantly exposed to dangers, including extreme temperatures – but also to abuse, with homeless people almost 17 times more likely to be victims of violence and 15 times more likely to be verbally abused compared to the general public, according to previous Crisis research.
A recent poll for the charity by YouGov showed that the majority of Brits (61%) feel angry, upset, or frustrated about the state of homelessness across the country, and feel the government should do more to tackle the crisis.
[Read full article on Welfare Weekly website…]