Research has revealed that over half of guests in winter night shelters last year were street homeless.
A report by the charity Housing Justice has found that 1,577 guests were offered overnight shelter in London last year. Of those guests 888 had been street homeless, 317 on the street for over six months and 322 were new to the street, reports Inside Housing.
Housing Justice chief executive Alison Gelder said: ‘This report busts some of the outdated myths about night shelters. For example, that the people who use them are not really homeless. It also shows what a massive mobilisation of churches, community groups, and volunteers there is, which is definitely something to celebrate. As we present these findings we must ask the question why more and more people are becoming homeless. Night shelters are part of the answer but not a substitute for safe, secure and affordable accommodation which is no longer available to an increasing proportion of the poorest in our society.”
The report found almost 450 churches, church halls, synagogues and mosques in 23 boroughs offered their premises for use in night shelters.
Slightly more than 50% of night shelter guests were between 26 and 49; more than half were from the UK, and 27% were from the European economic area.
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