One In Every 200 People In England Is Homeless, Study Finds
The study, carried out by Shelter, estimated that on any given night in 2019, 280,000 people are homeless - an increase of 23,000 since 2016.
This included 4,677 people sleeping rough and 254,927 living in temporary accommodation that had been arranged by themselves or the council. There are also 3,937 people who had been provided accommodation by social services, 14,684 currently residing in hostels, and another 2,292 people for whom local councils hadn't found a home.
But this was not all. The charity's report also states that a further 220,000 people had been in danger of losing their homes over the past year.
When you look at the situation across the country, the issue can be put into context.
For example, in London, it's estimated there are 170,068 homeless people - including 1,283 who are sleeping rough - which equates to one in every 52.
Up in Manchester, there are a total of 5,385 homeless - 123 of which are sleeping rough. While in Birmingham the study shows that 17,258 people are homeless, which is the equivalent of one in every 66 people.
Sarah Martin is a mum from Newham, which, with one in 24 people there homeless, is the worst borough in London according to the figures.
She and her 14-year-old son Ishmael were forced to spend a year living in 'squalid', cockroach-infested temporary accommodation.
They fell into homelessness after Sarah's mum died, which led to them being evicted from their home.
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The 40-year-old said: "I suffered a mini-stroke as a result of MS, which led to myself and Ishmael moving back in with my mum for extra support.
"We were dealt another blow when my mum passed away - before I even had time to grieve, we were facing eviction from the place we'd called home for years."
Living in temporary accommodation, Sarah and Ishmael had to share a bathroom and kitchen with strangers, surrounded by drink and drugs.
Sarah said: "People would stumble around the corridors wild-eyed on drink and drugs and one poor woman tried to set herself alight. It was completely terrifying.
"Ishmael's cheeky smile vanished, replaced by a nervous frown. He had been getting really good grades at school but they plummeted.
"We finally moved out of the hostel and into a flat this summer, which is also temporary accommodation. I'm so happy to be out of the hostel."
Experts have pointed to cuts to housing benefits and a lack of social housing as some of the reasons behind the rise in homelessness.
Speaking about the disturbing report, Shelter's chief executive Polly Neate has called for action to be taken to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.
She said: "Homelessness blights lives and leaves a lasting imprint of trauma, and yet 280,000 people in England are without a home this Christmas.
"And many are only days away from joining them. The almost complete lack of social homes in this country, combined with pricey private rents and cuts to housing benefit, mean homelessness really can happen to anyone.
"As well as those facing serious ill-health or even death sleeping rough on our streets this winter, there are thousands of families trapped in grotty emergency B&Bs, with no space for children to sit and eat, let alone play. This is the grim truth our new government must confront and do something radical to change."
Their annual report focuses on homelessness in England, but a previous report in 2018 estimated there were around 42,000 homeless people across Wales and Scotland.
Featured Image Credit: PA