Visible rough sleepers are regularly counted by their local area authority – and their numbers have doubled in the past five years.
Individuals who have slept rough for a long time are harder for services to help. They often mistrust support staff and may have had a previous bad experience, such as being forced to stay in an environment with others they found threatening, or in cramped and unhygienic conditions.
On the street they risk being attacked, robbed, or becoming seriously ill. Their own sense of self-worth is damaged by their experiences: people who have slept rough for long periods have commented that they ‘didn’t feel they deserved better’. Many have complex needs and or an addiction, which the help on offer did not tackle.
Church Homeless Trust supports innovative projects that can approach these individuals, like Street Buddies. We also fund support at schemes that look after individuals with the most complex needs, even in the face of cuts to other services.