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Crisis responds to comments that homelessness is a 'lifestyle choice'

Matt Downie, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “Sleeping on the streets is not a lifestyle choice. We don’t have nearly enough affordable homes, rents are soaring and this is leaving people destitute and forced to sleep rough. In the last 12 months, in London, there’s been a 29% increase in people experiencing their first night on the streets. This is a consequence of poverty - and poverty in this country has been exacerbated by policy choices. It’s also down to stretched mental health services, as many people sleeping rough will have experienced trauma, often in early childhood, and are struggling to access the support they need.

“People sleeping rough often experience violence and abuse. The impact on their physical and mental health is significant. The average age of death for people experiencing homelessness is just 45 for men and 43 for women. This is not a life people choose.”