Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has welcomed new London data that shows the number of people sleeping rough during the last year has fallen almost a quarter.New data released today (28 June 2022) by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) which covers April 2021 to March 2022 shows:
- The number of people seen sleeping rough by outreach workers in London during 2021/22 was 8,329, representing a 24 per cent decrease compared to the total of 11,018 people seen in 2020/21
- 5,091 people were seen sleeping rough for the first time in London, this was a 32% decrease from 2020/21, 7531 people
- 73% of those seen had a support need. 50% of those assessed during this period had a mental health need, compared to 44% in 2020/21
St Mungo’s Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Sycamore said: “We welcome the news that the number of people sleeping rough has reduced in the capital. This shows the success that can be achieved through partnership working; through new and existing services such as PAN London and new approaches and initiatives to prevention.
“It is also a testament to the dedication to the hard work of our outreach teams going out on the streets every day and night to support people off the streets.
“The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping highlighted some of the great work of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative and has been reflected in these figures but with the economy worsening since the end of March and the end of the Protect and Vaccinate Funding along with the end of the ‘Everyone In’ Initiative, we are interested to see the next set of data released.
“Our outreach teams are starting to see more people who are being affected by the rises in cost of living and our teams who work supporting people in accommodation are reporting that more clients are seeking help with fuel and other living costs.
“This is particularly concerning as it means people who have previously been street homeless, that had started their recovery, are facing the situation where they can no longer afford to maintain their homes and may be forced to return to sleeping rough.
“The cost of living crisis is escalating and there is a risk that all the good work done during the last year will be wiped out as the threat of homelessness becomes an increasing reality for more and more people.
“Although we welcome the new figures showing that 24% fewer people slept rough in the capital in the past year, this is still 29% more than 10 years ago.
“St Mungo’s teams will always be there to support people experiencing street homeless and to help others as they progress on their recovery. And we will continue to do so 365 days a year as we work to achieve our aim of ending rough sleeping.”
CHAIN is commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by Homeless Link.
Anyone who is concerned about a person who is sleeping rough should contact Streetlink via streetlink.org.uk