In a recent report, official figures show that rough sleeping has risen in the UK for the seventh consecutive year and as our provision increases, unfortunately so does the demand. We work hard with local people to help them avoid reaching crisis and support almost 400 people to avoid homelessness completely each year; but unfortunately due to societal changes like cuts to public services, changes to benefits, and soaring property and rental prices, we have seen an overall increase in the number of people losing their tenancies and becoming homeless. We are also noticing an increasing number of people reporting poor mental health and we are responding to this with additional services to address both physical and mental wellbeing.
In response to this recent report HARP's Chief Executive, Gill Garwood said “It’s a tragedy to see so many people having to resort to sleeping on the street. We will continue to campaign to end rough sleeping and do all we can to help people avoid homelessness altogether. No one should have to sleep on the streets in this day and age but unfortunately more and more people are at risk of losing their tenancies and more support is needed to help the most vulnerable people within our community.”
HARP currently support over 1,000 people each year that are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, and can now provide safe, warm accommodation for 174 people that might otherwise be sleeping rough each night and the demand for our service is growing. These statistics demonstrate the need for more funding for homeless services and for agencies, both national and local, to continue to work closely together to end rough sleeping, for good.