Homelessness growing at an alarming rate

13 April 2017

Rough sleeper numbers are rising, says Porchlight

The worrying speed at which homelessness is growing shows the government’s lack of compassion towards the problem.

That’s the view of our chief executive, in response to new figures showing another dramatic rise in the amount of people sleeping on Kent’s streets.

Over the past year (1 April – 31 March), our street team worked with 707 rough sleepers in Kent... two years previously, it was 385. With so many rough sleepers hidden from view, we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Porchlight chief executive Mike Barrett has criticised the government’s approach to homelessness: “Successive governments have pledged to tackle the problem with well meaning words and platitudes, only to introduce ever more callous policies that will increase the poverty and misery of vulnerable people.”

He added: “The reluctance to acknowledge the true size of the homelessness problem is evidenced by ongoing funding cuts which are leaving local councils struggling to find ways to deal with the issue.”

Going to get worse

The problem is expected to rocket over the next few years – new cuts could leave up to 11,000 more young people at risk of homelessness by the year 2021. This is an estimate of what will happen when its cuts the housing benefit element of Universal Credit.

Porchlight will continue to try and help those in need. Mike Barrett says: “Charities need to stand up and suggest solutions. Although we won’t be able to solve the problem on our own, we will continue to come up innovative services that help provide real solutions and stop vulnerable people becoming homeless in the first place.”

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