Long term strategy is key as number of rough sleepers in London falls
published on 29 Oct 2021
The Salvation Army has welcomed a fall in the number of rough sleepers in London, and a Government commitment to invest in tackling homelessness.
The quarterly Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) report* shows a 15 per cent decline in the number of rough sleepers in Greater London compared with the same quarter last year, however 47 per cent are new rough sleepers. In total between July and September, there were 2,918 people sleeping rough in the capital, which is an increase compared to the last quarter.
The church and charity is pleased to see the Government’s £640m annual budget pledge to help those facing the harsh reality of homelessness, including today’s commitment to tackling the root causes of homelessness, such as addiction, and further support for vulnerable renters at risk of losing their homes.
However, it warns that thousands of people across the UK are still facing Christmas on the streets. In particular, The Salvation Army is hoping that the recent funding announcements form part of a long-term strategy that will continue well beyond winter.
Lorrita Johnson, The Salvation Army's Director of Homelessness Services, said: “We welcome the fact the number of people sleeping rough in London has fallen.
“We are really pleased the Government has acknowledged the scale of the problem with its pledge of funds. If this money is invested over a sustained period of time in the right places, we can finally see these rough sleeping figures continue to decline and save hundreds of lives.
“However, we are also deeply concerned about the people captured in these CHAIN figures, who are on the streets now. Our outreach services will be doing their best to help these people with hot food, shelter and addiction support. However, the cycle of rough sleeping can’t be broken without tackling the reasons a person ended up on the streets in the first place, and that requires a long-term funding plan.”
*The London CHAIN figures are available to view here