The Facts

Fact – Homelessness is increasing
Figures for April to June 2011 showed a 17% increase over the same quarter in 2010.

At least 1,169 homeless service bed spaces in England were lost between March 2010 and March 2011. Of those over 32% were lost in the East Midlands. This is destined to get worst in 2012.

Relationship breakdown is the largest single trigger of rough sleeping leading to 42% of male rough sleeping. Men are more at risk of depression and isolation after divorce.

The numbers of rough sleepers with mental health issues has increased over the last five years. 72% of rough sleepers with a mental health problem misuse drugs or alcohol.

Many homeless people suffer complex trauma throughout their lives. In a recent survey half of those questioned were abused or neglected as children – 23% were abused physically, 12% abused sexually. 24% had attempted suicide.

Family relationship breakdown coupled with high levels of youth unemployment, a shortage of shared housing and changes to housing benefit combine to push more young people into rough sleeping. Particularly at risk are young people with behavioural problems, for example ADHD.

A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Homeless Link found that there were many stages to most people’s experience of acute disadvantage. They often started with troubled childhoods, then substance misuse at a young age, followed by a progression over 7 to 8 years to become ‘officially homeless’.

On average homeless people die at just 47 years old.

Homeless people are 13 times more likely to be victims of violence.

Some 97% of homeless people want a job.

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