Rising homelessness figures prompt 'crisis' warning from Christian charity

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Asked why more people are sleeping rough, Mr Quagliozzi answered: "We've a flawless storm over the last few years where rising rents - particularly in the private rental sector, wages not going up as fast of those rents and welfare reform are contributing to a very bleak picture".

That was an increase of 617 (15 per cent) from autumn 2016, which totalled 4,134.

Figures released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government revealed 96 people were found sleeping rough in the county in the space of a single night in autumn 2017.

1,119 of those were in the South East region.

The figures, based on snapshot street counts and paper estimates by local authorities, show that London, where figures rose by 18%, remains the centre of rough sleeping, accounting for almost a quarter of all rough sleepers.

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The figures were compiled by counting the number of people sleeping outside and do not take into account squatters or those in hostels.

"For the United Kingdom as a whole, the Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027". We have failed as a society when so many people are forced to sleep rough. But they are not alone, the scourge of homelessness extends far beyond our streets.

Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of homeless charity St Mungo's, commented:"Another huge rise in the number of men and women sleeping rough in England, for seven years in a row and 169% since 2010, is shocking and a scandal".

"With the right support at the right time, homelessness doesn't need to be inevitable".

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