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20 June, 2019
News Story


Figures released this week show a huge increase in rough sleeper numbers in England’s capital city.

Annual figures from Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) have shown an 18% rise on rough sleeping numbers in London – now counting a staggering 8,855 people. These figures contrast those published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, which indicated there had been a 2% decrease in rough sleeping across England.

This is equivalent to around 24 people a day being found without a place to call home. Despite the efforts of homelessness services, only 27% of those sleeping rough were supported into accommodation or to return to their home area or country over the year.

The CHAIN system is a multi-agency effort, commissioned and funded by the Mayor of London, who said “The rise in rough sleeping across the country and in London is a national disgrace. But the figures show more and more people continue to be forced on to the streets by the government’s policies – from welfare cuts to a lack of investment in social housing.”

In the London Borough of Newham, where we operate, 615 people sleeping rough were seen throughout the year. These are the third highest numbers seen in the city.

In response to the increasing number of people rough sleeping seen over the last decade, Caritas Anchor House have been commissioned by the local authority to open a Rough Sleeper’s Assessment Hub. The purpose of the hub is to end rough sleeping for people in Newham. We provide person-centred support to ensure that those accessing the hub receive a full assessment of their needs, and an offer to move away from rough sleeping and into accommodation. Since opening in December 2018, our hub has housed 23 people who were rough sleeping, 91% of which have had significant support needs in addition to homelessness.

Amanda Dubarry, our Chief Executive, said, “This rise of almost 20% in rough sleeping really shows the extent of the homelessness and housing crisis we are currently facing, despite the introduction of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative.

As a service which directly supports people who are sleeping rough off of the street, we hope that these shocking figures will trigger a strong commitment from the Government and Local Authorities to do more for the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

To support Caritas Anchor House’s work with people experiencing homelessness, please click here.

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