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New Figures: London rough sleeping hits record levels

New figures reveal that 3,103 people were found sleeping rough in London between July and September 2018 – the first time levels have risen to over 3,000 in a single quarter. The numbers reveal an increase in rough sleepers of 20% on the previous quarter and an increase of 17% on the same period last year. Over the same period outreach teams recorded 1,382 people sleeping rough for the first time, a rise of 28% on the previous period and 20% on the same period last year.

Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said:

“This appalling spike in the number of people forced to sleep rough in London is a disaster for every single person experiencing life on the streets. Across the capital, local authorities are struggling with increasing numbers of people new to the streets, which is why the root causes of the problem must be tackled.

“We can’t carry on like this when we know that homelessness is not inevitable. We don’t have enough affordable housing that homeless people can access; we don’t have a strong enough welfare system to support people when they fall on hard times; and we aren’t giving people in the most vulnerable situations a place to call home when they have nowhere to turn.

“Rough sleeping ruins lives and, with winter approaching, the consequences of ending up on the streets become more and more devastating. Last year alone, 449 homeless people died in the UK, many of whom were living on the streets.

“The government has already made important commitments to end rough sleeping but it must address the root causes of it to make those commitments a reality.”


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The figures present information about people seen rough sleeping by outreach teams in London in July - September 2018. Information is derived from the 'Combined Homelessness and Information Network' (CHAIN). They show 44 per cent (1,382 people) were new rough sleepers.