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Dramatic increase in London's rough sleepers

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Dramatic increase in London's rough sleepers

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities, Health

Dramatic increase in London's rough sleeping population Dramatic increase in London's rough sleeping population

The number of people sleeping rough in London has risen by 26%, new figures have revealed.

Charity Broadway's report says that 1,920 rough sleepers were seen by homeless services in the capital between September and October - 26% up on the same period in 2011.

Broadway also reported that 901 were new rough sleepers who had not been in contact with agencies before – an increase of 31% when compared with the same period in 2011.

With evidence suggesting that four out of ten rough sleepers never seek help before going on to the streets, homelessness charity Homeless Link has refreshed its HomelessnessLondon.org.uk website to offer information on the rights of homeless people and links to over 1,600 services that may be able to help.

Commenting on the figures, Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, said: “Sleeping rough is damaging to your health and can be dangerous. Our research has shown that almost half of those who sleep rough will not have had any contact with services before they end up on the streets. With rough sleeping continuing to rise in the capital, it is clear that better information is needed to prevent people from ending up on the streets.

“Too many people just don’t know where to turn for the advice that could prevent them losing their home or the accommodation that stop them from sleeping out. London is getting better at helping people once they end up on the streets but many could be helped before this. If you or someone you know is homeless or is at risk of becoming homeless, log-on to Homeless London now and get the help that could make all the difference.”

David Ford, chair of Homeless Link’s Expert Panel, who has experienced homelessness, said: "One of the most frustrating aspects of homelessness is not knowing where to go for the right advice and support or how to access the appropriate services. The new Homeless London web site goes a long way to overcoming that frustration with clear and quick information and direction for those who need help."

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