Salvation Army helps ensure homeless deaths data continues

published on 27 Mar 2024

Horrifying statistics relating to the deaths of people who are homeless will continue to be published thanks to pressure from The Salvation Army and other homelessness charities. 

The Office of National Statistics, which is the UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK, had proposed cutting the release of the figures as it argued this would help increase the efficiency of health data.  

The Salvation Army successfully made the case that there is an acute need for up-to-date information on all types of homelessness.  

Nick Redmore, The Salvation Army’s Director of Homeless Services, said: “Looking at how and why people die when they are homeless is uncomfortable but essential if we are to stop unnecessary deaths and prevent people becoming homeless in the first place. Planning effective homelessness support and prevention services is only possible if you have easily available data. Failure to publish the annual deaths of homeless people in England and Wales as a separate statistical release would have the unintended consequence of making service planning more difficult and could have accidentally masked the scale of the problem. Behind these statistics are real and vulnerable people, these statistics are their cry for help.”  

The Salvation Army is also calling for cities and regions with high levels of homelessness to introduce the same recording system of the rough sleeping population as exists in London, with the quarterly CHAIN statistics.

A Salvation Army volunteer/staff member talking with Max on a grey sofa inside a Salvation Army building.

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