According to a new report by the government, rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010 and has risen by a staggering 50% in the last two years alone.
Department for Communities and Local Governmen released figures that reveal over half of the councils in England have all recorded an increase in rough sleeping since last year.
The homelessness charity Crisis called the increasing rate ‘appalling.’ However, the government has insisted it is determined tackle the problem, most notably by investing £550 million to see less people suffering on the streets.
The chief executive of Crisis, Jon Sparkes, said, “Behind these statistics are thousands of desperate people, sleeping in doorways, bin shelters, stations and parks – anywhere they can find to stay safe and escape the elements.
“Rough sleeping ruins lives, leaving people vulnerable to violence and abuse, and taking a dreadful toll on their mental and physical health. Our recent research has shown how rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence. This is no way for anyone to live.”
In 2010, the number of rough sleepers was recorded at 1768. In 2015, there were 3569. In 2016, there were 4134.
More worryingly is the high correlation between mental illness and homelessness. St Mungos’ research found that 40% of rough sleepers suffered mental health issues, 41% had alcohol dependency and 31% had drug problems.