Shelter responds to new ONS stats on the number of people who have died homeless.
Greg Beales, campaign director at Shelter said, “This appalling loss of life should be a source of national shame. There is nothing inevitable about homelessness or about these tragic deaths which are a consequence of a housing system which fails too many people.
“This new research from the ONS shows 597 people died homeless in one year. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“Our crippling shortage of social housing and a threadbare safety net are at the root of this national emergency and we call on Government to make this year a turning point in the fight to ensure that there is a safe home for all those who need it.”
Case studies quotes
On life on the street and health from On the Street: an investigation into rough sleeping out today (full report attached).
“People who live out on the streets, they’re that far away from death, one cold span and that’s it because it does take a lot out of you.” Leonard
“My health and wellbeing went down, I was that ill. I was in and out of hospital 24/7. When my mum used to hear an ambulance she used to say ‘that’s my son.’” Ray
“I’ve been urinated on, set fire to… Hit with a baseball bat… That was a strange occasion, because I ended up in hospital with that one. I couldn’t see out of my right eye for eighteen weeks, so I had a patch on and my top lip was hanging off, so that was full of stitches, I lost most of my back teeth, I got a titanium jaw, which I never expected.” Steve
“I know people on the street who got burnt, literally burnt whilst they were in the sleeping bags asleep, they lit the sleeping bags. These are just people that are just walking past and having a laugh. They don’t understand, that person’s got a family and kids. It’s chaos, it is chaos.” Ray
“There were a couple of violent ones as well, where I got threatened with a knife and I managed to run away. There was another one where I got attacked but they tried to keep me inside a room and I screamed really loud and I managed to get out. There were a few things like that.” Poppy
“A couple of the people overdosed and died. One of my mates, he died. Went and overdosed in Tesco last year. I struggled with all that.” Ahmed
Statistics on the deaths of homeless people released by the Office for national Statistics (ONS) are available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/