Rough sleepers total reaches all-time low

The number of rough sleepers is down to an all time low of just
over 500 across the whole of England, according to the latest
government statistics.

A total of 504 people were sleeping rough on any one night this
year, compared to 1,850 in 1998 and 596 last year, the Office of
the Deputy Prime Minister reports.

Westminster had the highest count of 133 rough sleepers,
followed by the City of London with 36 and Leeds with 23. Only 10
rough sleepers were recorded in Bristol and nine in Manchester.

But Mike Tristram, the director of the Simon Community, which
works with homeless people in London, said: “These figures
certainly don’t square with the kind of figures that we and
other people have been picking up. There is a growing discrepancy
between organisations such as ourselves and the official counts
that are going on.”

“Our experience is that while there is more provision
available there are still significant numbers of people out there
whose needs are not being met,” he said.

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