Figures Show Homeless Deaths Have ‘More Than Doubled’ Over Last Five Years

Maurice Richmond
By Maurice Richmond,
updated on Apr 11, 2018

Figures Show Homeless Deaths Have ‘More Than Doubled’ Over Last Five Years

Concerns have been raised after statistics have shown the number of homeless people dying on UK streets or in temporary accommodation has more than doubled over the last five years

It comes after the Guardian obtained figures which reveals deaths have risen from 31 in 2013 to 70 in 2017.

Worryingly, this suggests that 2017 saw saw an average of more than one death per week, with the publication estimating that the average age of a rough sleeper at death was 43.

The gender split shows a staggering 90% of homeless deaths in the last five years were male.

Rising rents, welfare cuts and social housing shortfalls have been blamed as contributing factors, leading to fresh calls for government intervention.

This was heightened following the tragic death of Marcos Amaral Gourgel outside Westminster tube station in February, as freezing weather swept through the UK.

Matthew Downie, from homeless charity Crisis, told the Guardian: “These figures are a devastating reminder that rough sleeping is beyond dangerous – it’s deadly, and it’s claiming more and more lives each year.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “Every death of someone sleeping rough on our streets is one too many.

“We are taking bold action and have committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027.

“We are investing £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness and earlier this week the Homelessness Reduction Act, the most ambitious legislation in this area in decades, came into force.”

If homelessness is affecting you or a loved one who is struggling, there are people out there who can help you.

Visit Counselling Directory for professional mental health support.

To talk to somebody confidentially, call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123.

Image credit: Matthew Woitunski

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