The latest government statistics show that 4,134 people slept rough across England on any given night in 2016. That’s a 16% increase compared to the previous year, and more than double the amount in 2010.
Homelessness has been increasing almost three times faster in Bournemouth than the rest of the country. The number of people bedding down on the town’s streets has gone up by 292 per cent since 2010. In 2016, an annual overnight count found 47 rough sleepers compared with 16 in 2013 and 31 in 2014.
13, 030 people aged 16-25 were counted as homeless over the last year and more than 1 in 5 people being delcared homeless were aged 16-24 (YMCA England).
All these numbers above may be shocking but they don’t represent the bigger problem.
‘Hidden & Homeless’
Official figures provide only a partial picture of homelessness, with suspected ‘hidden and homeless’ affecting a large number of young people. Only homeless people who are actually “bedded down” in their sleeping bags are counted in government statistics. Those sitting up in their bag, or standing alongside their bedding are not officially counted.
Many people who are not entitled to help with housing, or who don’t even approach their councils for help, aren’t counted in the official statistics.
Many stay in hostels, squats or B&Bs, in overcrowded accommodation or ‘concealed’ housing, such as the floors or sofas of friends and family.
In Bournemouth, the number of households in temporary accommodation has doubled from 24 in September to 48 in March. In total 39 families are living in bed and breakfasts, with 18 of those being placed by the council’s Children’s Social Care department over welfare concerns.
This is why we need your help. If you would like to know how you can support the work of YMCA Bournemouth then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org