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HARP’s response to the annual rough sleeper count

At HARP, we believe that everyone deserves a safe place to call home, and no one should be forced to sleep on the streets. The latest Government figures for rough sleeping show a disappointing but predictable nationwide rise in the number of people who have been pushed in to rough sleeping.

The Government has published its annual rough sleeper counts for the number of people found rough sleeping in England in November 2022. Overall, nationally there was a 26% increase compared to the 2021 count. In Southend, the number of people found sleeping rough during the count was 16, up from 10 in 2021.

Whilst the annual snapshot is, in our opinion, a flawed and inaccurate method of capturing homelessness, it comes as no surprise that the number of people forced to sleep on the streets has gone up across the country. Economically, it has been a difficult period for many due to the cost of living crisis, low wages, high inflation, inadequate benefits and a chronic lack of affordable housing.

For us, 16 people sleeping rough is 16 too many, and behind the numbers are real people who have fallen on hard times. Which is why we will continue to reach out to people sleeping rough, and do all we can to get as many people off the streets and into emergency accommodation as quickly as possible.

We need the public to support this vital work, so if you’d like to get involved, head here to find out how you can help. Alternatively if you see someone sleeping rough, contact StreetLink so that they can alert the relevant local organisations including HARP in Southend. Our Outreach Team will be notified allowing them to make contact and to help get that person the support, services, and shelter they need as soon as possible.


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