Inside London’s Rough Sleeping Crisis

Inside London's Rough Sleeping Crisis

The number of people sleeping rough in England on any one night had doubled since 2010! And increased by 30% in the last year. As with all places, huge cities, the uber-wealthy live side by side with the impoverished; unfortunately, this has always been- just read a Dicken’s novel! But why in a city known for its wealth and advancement is this still happening? And not only still happening, but with rough sleeping on a rapid rise in London, why is it not at least improving?

The number of people sleeping rough in England on any one night had doubled since 2010! And increased by 30% in the last year.

Campaigners dedicated to eradicating homelessness have been left shocked after official figures show the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen for the sixth year!

Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of the charity organization Crisis, condemned the rise, saying,

Behind these statistics are thousands of desperate people! Sleeping in doorways, bin shelters, stations and parks. Anywhere they can find to stay safe and escape the elements. (The Guardian)

So, why such a sharp switch in the opposite direction? Considering that homelessness appeared to be tackled in the early 2010s, it ultimately led many to envision its end!

The Guardian‘s Amelia Gentleman explains how higher rents, cuts to council services and migration have contributed to a sharp increase in the number of homeless people on the streets of the capital.

With the cost of living in London only increasing and house prices in the millions, it is one of the most expensive cities. Mix that with the housing crisis, cuts in funding to services and a recession, and see how the issue is escalating!

Those who don’t have high-earning jobs in the city struggle to pay rent! And if they aren’t eligible for welfare, they may find themselves sleeping rough!

Moreover, charitable organization Streets of London demonstrate how anybody could find themselves homeless! Such examples show just how close many of us could be to sleeping rough ourselves,

We want to challenge the perception that homeless people are different from the rest of us. Homelessness begins when something terrible happens, and you don’t have family or friends around to help. But, unfortunately, it could happen to any of us. Relationship breakdown, redundancy, poor mental health, alcohol/substance addiction, and domestic abuse are just some of the reasons people end up homeless.

With this select information and tons more out there, the situation seems bleak and beyond help! But you would be wrong; as Crisis outlines, homelessness is not inevitable.

With collective action and political will, we can end it once and for all.

Further, they go on to outline how the crisis could change for the better,

To end homelessness, we need to understand and change the factors that cause it and worsen it. Issues such as the availability of affordable housing, legislation and the benefits system are part of this. (Crisis)

Being aware, volunteering to local charities, even donating as little as a cup of coffee all add up to helping the thousands who will find this winter even more cold and treacherous.

If you want to make a difference, be aware, read statistics, sign petitions, write letters of concern to your council. As the saying goes, every little helps! And maybe one day, everyone will have homes to go to when the rain falls over England’s capital…