Rough sleeping in the UK rose sharply during lockdown (Guardian, 18 August 2020)

  • Reports of rough sleeping in UK rose sharply during lockdown

  • By Sarah Marsh and Niamh McIntyre. Published by the Guardian on 18 August 2020

  • Summary:

    • Reports of people sleeping rough in the UK rose sharply during the first lockdown, despite claims by the government that more than 90% of homeless people had been helped off the streets.

    • The government’s Everyone In scheme – which saw £3.2m spent on getting people off the streets and into accommodation – was held up as an example of what could be done when homelessness was made a priority.

    • New figures the homelessness charity Streetlink reveal that the alerts about the rough sleepers increased by 36% year on year between April and June 2020, reaching 16,976.

    • The figures could, partially at least, be explained by the fact that rough sleepers were more visible during lockdown (because streets were deserted, the facilities closed and more attention was paid to rough sleepers). However, the article also notes that many were forced on to the streets when they lost jobs as the economy closed down, with those who did not have access to public funds, such as some foreign nationals.

  • Keywords: homeless, UK, Wales, England, coronavirus, Covid-19, homelessness