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28 June 2022

by Jo Carter, Glass Door Interim CEO

We welcome the general decreasing trends of the annual CHAIN report published today.

However, the numbers released today are an under-statement of reality – at Glass Door, the majority of our guests who were rough sleeping at the time they first got in contact with us were not known by outreach teams because they were sleeping in night buses or bedded down in hidden areas to avoid the danger of living on the streets.

Over the last few months we have witnessed a significant increase in people seeking support from Glass Door’s caseworkers. With the cost-of-living crisis, bills, rents, and prices going through the roof, more and more people approach us because they have to choose between rent and food, and they’re afraid of losing their homes.

According to the CHAIN report, 61% of the people seen sleeping rough are on the street for the first time. Although it is a decrease, it is still too many. Issues pushing people into destitution and homelessness need to be urgently addressed. Too many of the people we support face impossible choices because of a benefit cap that’s unduly restrictive, and inadequate housing allowance, frozen at 2020 levels while the price of housing, especially in London, has soared. It is also crucial to take into account people with no recourse to public funds and restricted eligibility, barred from receiving the help they need and therefore trapped in precarious situations. 

Looking at these figures, in addition to the end of all the Government’s Everyone In initiative measures, such as the eviction ban and the protect and vaccinate response, it is clear that we are on the verge of a major homelessness crisis and that more emergency accommodation will be needed for the hard months of winter.

Read the full report: Rough sleeping in London (CHAIN reports) - London Datastore