Homelessness at frightening levels

11 July 2017

Homelessness in Kent has reached frightening levels due to welfare cuts aimed at poor and vulnerable people.

That’s why we're asking for vital public donations to support our work helping those with nowhere else to turn.

Porchlight’s rough sleeper team monitors the number of people on the streets of Kent. Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, they found:

  • 707 people (all ages) compared to 509 the previous year – a rise of 38%
  • Of these, 134 people were aged 25 or under compared to 78 the previous year – a rise of 71%.

There are lots of reasons that people find themselves on the street. For many young people it’s because family life has broken down so much that their only option is to leave home. 

Too often, they have experienced neglect, violence and abuse. The longer they are left without help, the more deep-rooted their problems become. Read Kaya's story.

'Ferocious welfare cuts'

Mike Barrett, Porchlight’s chief executive, says: “This frightening increase in homelessness has been caused, I think, by two things - ferocious welfare cuts aimed at poor and vulnerable people, and the irresponsible housing policies of successive governments over the past 30 years.

“It’s now commonplace to see people living and sleeping on the streets. It appears to have become an accepted part of the austerity measure.

“Under-35s are among the hardest hit, and it gets worse the younger you are. Under-25s have seen their jobseeker’s allowance frozen and 18 to 21-year-olds have lost the automatic entitlement to housing benefit. Many people who work rely on benefits, but these are being cut and they now face the humiliating and life threatening risk of homelessness.

“How can we call ourselves a successful society, if the price of our comfort and safety is the suffering of those less fortunate than most of us?”

Please make a donation today and help us be there, day in day out, for everyone who needs us this summer.