Charity warns of increase in rough sleepers
Three out of five outreach workers across the country say they are seeing an increasing number of rough sleepers, according to new research published by homelessness charity St Mungo’s.
Almost three quarters of those surveyed did not believe that there was enough emergency accommodation for rough sleepers in their area
The report is the first survey of outreach workers across England, and highlights relationship breakdown, domestic violence and mental health conditions as three of the main traumas leading to people sleeping rough.
According to the report, 57 per cent of outreach workers believe that the number of rough sleepers in their area with mental health problems has increased over the last five years.
Charles Fraser, chief executive of St Mungo’s, said: ‘It is truly distressing that rough sleeping is on the rise after so much has been achieved. We welcome the government action taken to stop anyone from spending a second night on the streets and this approach seems very promising.
‘But what’s also needed now is better support to prevent vulnerable people from hitting the streets in the first place - a commitment to no first night out.’
The report recommends that better housing support is made available, particularly around mental health and domestic violence, that local authorities adapt their housing advice services to maximise early intervention opportunities for vulnerable people and that investment is made in emergency accommodation.