“Continued encouraging news but we need a plan in place for the future” – St Mungo’s responds to latest London rough sleeping figures
New data highlights the need to build upon the success of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative.
Today saw the publication of the latest quarterly CHAIN (Combined Homelessness and Information Network) statistics recording people rough sleeping in London between January and March 2021.
The data, published by the Greater London Authority (GLA), shows a continued decline in the total number of people sleeping rough cross the capital, with the overall number falling to 3,002 – a 19% decrease from the same period last year.
This last quarter included occasions when temperatures dropped to zero or below. Between December and April this year, St Mungo’s provided an unprecedented 32 days of Severe Emergency Weather Protocol (SWEP) provision, supporting local authorities across London with emergency accommodation for people sleeping rough during extreme, cold weather.
There has been a 64% decline in the number of people sleeping rough for a long time in London in the last quarter. Encouragingly, the data also points to an increase of new rough sleepers being prevented from spending a second night out on the street, and potentially transitioning into longer-term rough sleeping.
Reacting to the figures, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s Steve Douglas CBE, said: “These figures show the impact of outreach teams, working alongside the GLA, local authorities and other homeless organisations, to support people into emergency accommodation, especially during the coldest months of the year.
“More than three quarters, 78% of people newly rough sleeping, only spent one night outside – preventing them from becoming people who are living on the streets – which is a key element in ending rough sleeping and an example of why services such as No Second Night Out are so important.
“St Mungo’s is pleased to be supporting the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake, which will examine and learn the lessons from the emergency response over the last year which supported people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to working with the Commission and continuing our work with Government, local authorities and other agencies to improve future outcomes for all people experiencing homelessness. We believe ending rough sleeping is achievable and these figures highlight what can be achieved when we all work together.”
St Mungo’s recognise the measures the Government has taken to protect renters during the pandemic, and we can see the impact of these measures through the figures above. We are now looking to the future and for solutions that address the underlying problems which can lead to homelessness. More information about St Mungo’s long-term recommendations can be found here.