Urgent action needed now says St Mungo’s as latest figures show rough sleeping continues to rise in London

Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s says urgent action is needed now as new figures show the number of people seen sleeping rough in London continues to rise.

New data released today (30 October 2022) by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) shows that between July and September this year 3,628 people were seen sleeping rough in London.

This is an increase of almost a quarter on the same period last year (2,918) and a 21% increase when compared to the previous three months.

Of the total number of people seen sleeping rough, more than half (1,844) were doing so for the first time – a rise of 35% on the same period last year.

The data also shows that between July and September:

  • 481 people were defined as ‘living on the streets’, an increase of 17% on the previous three months and 13% on the same period last year.
  • 44 of those considered to be living on the streets had not be seen sleeping rough in the previous three months
  • More than three quarters of people (76%) were provided with accommodation before they had to spend a second night sleeping rough

Petra Salva OBE, Director of Rough Sleeping, Westminster and Migrant Services at St Mungo’s, said: “The rising numbers of people sleeping rough should be a wake-up call to everyone – and we are very worried that worse is yet to come.

“We are starting to see the serious effects of the deepening cost of living crisis on the streets and in our services, and as we head into the winter it’s very likely that, without help many people who are just about scraping by will no longer be able to manage.

“What we need now is immediate action. We are asking the Government to uplift benefits in line with inflation, increase the benefit cap and unfreeze Local Housing Allowance rates.

“These latest figures show just how urgent the situation is and more must be done to prevent even more people becoming homeless.

“Whatever we face, St Mungo’s specialist outreach teams will be out every day, providing vital help and support. And the fact that more than three out of four people coming to the streets were helped before they had to spend a second night out is testament to the hard work and dedication of outreach and No Second Night Out teams across the capital.”

CHAIN is commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by Homeless Link.

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough should contact Streetlink via streetlink.org.uk