Figures, published in the Rough Sleeping Snapshot 2019, show that there is still much to do, to support people who are sleeping rough across the UK. At Changing Lives, we believe it isn’t right that 4,266 people go without shelter every night. Chief Executive Stephen Bell argues that it’s time for a new approach to tackling homelessness.
Since 2010 there has been a 141% increase in rough sleeping nationally. Although today’s figures show a slight decrease since last year, not enough is being done to support people who are sleeping rough and in reality little has changed for the people we support. A lack of affordable social housing, changes to the benefits system and a loss of vital support services are just some of the factors that have contributed to the rise in people experiencing homelessness. We also know that ‘rough sleeping’ is only one part of a much wider problem in the UK. For every person sleeping rough, there are others who are part of the ‘hidden homeless’ – people who sofa surf or who rely on temporary accommodation from night to night.