Thames Reach’s Response to the Latest CHAIN Quarterly Report
The latest quarterly report from the CHAIN database has been released, painting a concerning picture of the surge in rough sleeping across London.
Released on 31 January, the CHAIN Quarterly Report for rough sleeping in London (October-December 2023) exposes a concerning reality: outreach teams recorded 4389 individuals sleeping rough during this period, rising 8% from the previous quarter and marking a significant 23% increase from the same timeframe in 2022.
Other key statistics are as follows:
– 2,283 people were recorded as sleeping rough for the first time. This is the second highest quarterly figure ever reported and represents a huge annual increase of 34% and a 9% increase on the previous quarter.
– The number of people classed as ‘living on the streets’ was at its highest ever quarterly level, at 560, having grown by 24% compared to the same period last year.
– The percentage of people from outside the UK found rough sleeping in this period was higher than in the previous quarter.
These findings reinforce the growing need for outreach teams that are well-equipped to engage with both new rough sleepers and those already living on the streets.
Furthermore, outreach teams need access to accommodation that can effectively support individuals with diverse needs, particularly those from outside the UK. The City and Lambeth Assessment Centres, operated by Thames Reach, play a crucial role in this regard, serving as initial points of support for those transitioning off the streets.
Focusing on prevention is also pivotal to understanding why people are spending at least one night on the streets and how this can be avoided. Hounslow Reach, a new prevention service delivered by Thames Reach in the London Borough of Hounslow, exemplifies important prevention measures such as providing advice and support to individuals at risk of losing their homes.
At Thames Reach, we are committed to continue working with local authorities, the GLA, and fellow charities to implement effective solutions and prevent further escalation of this crisis.
Our Director of Services, Kristian Draper, notes “The increasing number of people rough sleeping is a cause for concern. We’re also noticing shifts in the patterns of rough sleeping, making it crucial for us, as a sector, to ensure that our resources are directed to where they are most needed. This involves providing effective services for those on the streets and collaborating to offer quick alternatives to help them move away from rough sleeping.
“At the same time, we must use this and other data to come up with innovative solutions and allocate resources to prevent people from needing to sleep rough and support them in quickly and permanently leaving homelessness behind.”
Read this and other CHAIN reports here.