We were so shocked to read an article in the Guardian recently about the appalling levels of deaths in the homeless population of England last year. Research by the charity Museum of Homelessness shows that the number of homeless people who died in 2022 was 1,313, an 85% increase on the numbers recorded by the study just three years earlier.
It is infuriating and heart-breaking to see the rising levels of homelessness in our cities. Worse still to know that there are 26 people experiencing hidden homelessness for every one person we see on the street. But according to research by the Museum of Homelessness, a staggering 85% of those deaths occurred while individuals were staying in emergency housing or hotels.
This demonstrates what we have long known. That simply giving someone a bed is not going to help. We need to provide vulnerable adults with a home and the wrap around support they need to tackle the issues which lead to homelessness.
Mental health support is essential. We saw an increase of 22% in mental health issues between 2021 and 2022. With some conditions, such as self-harm, increasing in by 185% in the same period. These issues are what drives substance misuse, which is what caused the majority of these tragic deaths. Our focus of proving mental health support through our Housing Team, our BACP registered Psychologist and through group activities will continue as we face these challenges.
Nomad can’t help but ask questions about how effective the Government’s £2bn fund to eliminate homelessness if the majority of this fund will be diverted towards emergency accommodation. Would they be better to look at longer-term solutions which tackle the causes of homelessness, rather than just getting people off the street for aesthetic reasons.
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