Latest CHAIN Quarterly Report reveals persistent high numbers of rough sleeping in London

Persistent rise in individuals deemed to be ‘living on the streets’ underscores the severity of rough sleeping crisis.

Latest CHAIN Quarterly Report reveals persistent high numbers of rough sleeping in London

The latest findings from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) Quarterly Report for Q4, covering January to March 2024, reveal a concerning trend in rough sleeping numbers in London.

Compiled from data collected by outreach teams across the capital, the report reveals that a total of 4,118 individuals were recorded sleeping rough during this period. While this is a reduction against the previous quarter’s total of 4389,  this marks a significant 33% increase compared to the same period in 2023. Moreover, the number of new rough sleepers recorded during this period was 37% higher than in the previous year.

It is particularly troubling that the number of people deemed to be ‘living on the streets’* has increased by a third, emphasising a troubling trend of people spending longer periods without stable accommodation.

Chantelle Gardner, Project Manager at Thames Reach’s Lambeth Rough Sleeper Outreach Team, expressed concern over the surge. “During the last two quarters, our Living on the Streets (LOS) worker reported a definitive increase in workload and complexity of the individuals they were working with. Substance misuse and systemic barriers to support services have all contributed to this increase”, she stated.

During January to March 2024, there were 511 people recorded as living on the streets, with 68 of them new to rough sleeping in London and remaining on the streets during the period. This compares to 376 people during the same quarter the previous year.

The report also notes a declining proportion of European nationals sleeping rough over the last two quarters compared to the previous ones. This has been accompanied by a surge in people from other nationalities, emphasising the need for a multifaceted approach to tackling homelessness in London.

Thames Reach’s outreach teams are dedicated to addressing the root causes of rough sleeping and providing essential support to individuals living on the streets. Together, we are actively working to define and implement effective measures to address this concerning trend.

For those interested in exploring the full report, it can be accessed here:

  • Living on the Streets is defined as: Those who have had a high number of contacts over 3 weeks or more which suggests they are living on the street