55% rise in rough sleeping over the last four years
The latest government figures have found that rough sleeping in England has risen by 55% since 2010.
Homelessness charity Crisis is now calling on the country’s political party leader to review the help single homeless people receive under the law.
With 2,744 people reported by local councils across the country to be sleeping rough on any one night in 2014, last year revealed a 14% rise in rough sleepers, reports 24dash.
Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive, said: “These figures show that the law is badly failing people facing homelessness. Welfare reform, benefit cuts and a chronic shortage of affordable homes mean more and more people are coming to their council as homeless. But as the law stands, far too often when single people ask for help, they are turned away to sleep on the street.
“Homelessness is a frightening and isolating experience – the average age of death for a homeless person is just 47. No one should be condemned to these dangers. That’s why we’re calling on political parties to commit to review how the law protects people from the devastation of life on the streets.”
Responding to the rise in rough sleeping, Rick Henderson, chief executive of umbrella body Homeless Link, said: “We should ask ourselves why it is acceptable that anyone has to sleep rough in Britain today. What’s even more shocking is that the number of people in this situation has risen every year since 2010. Sleeping rough is dangerous and bad for your health. It is damaging to individuals and communities. The longer someone sleeps out, the worse their problems will become and the more costly to resolve once they get help.
“The hard work of many local services to help new rough sleepers as quickly as possible shows that we can turn this situation around. Unfortunately, many charities have seen funding fall at the very time that demand for help is on the rise. To turn the tide, politicians need to make sure the right support needs are available in every area so that no one has to live on our streets.”
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