Lambeth ranks third in London for highest number of rough sleepers – 10% rise since 2013/2014

Lambeth has seen a 10% rise in the number of rough sleepers on its streets since 2013/14, a government report reveals.

The borough has the third highest number of rough sleepers in London, behind Westminster and Camden, with 468 people sleeping on the streets.

Centre manager of Lambeth-based homeless support centre Ace of Clubs Sarah Miles, along with several other Lambeth centres, confirmed they have seen a rise in the number of people accessing their services over the last year.

She said: “The contributing factors are increasing numbers coming to London from elsewhere in the UK and overseas seeking work, stability and security but not finding them and not being able to access the benefits system.

“The impact of the rising cost of living means that those sofa surfing and staying with friends are no longer able to do so and benefits sanctions together with increasing costs means that many people have to make difficult financial choices and having access to cheap meals is a financially responsible decision.”

More than half of those found sleeping rough in Lambeth were non UK nationals, with 130 being Central Eastern Europeans, a group that makes up 36% of all of London’s rough sleepers.

Though the majority of rough sleepers are men, the number of women sleeping rough in London has increased by 1% to 14%.

A Lambeth Council spokesman said: “In line with other parts of London, Lambeth has seen an increase in rough sleepers from Eastern Europe.  “The majority of people are not living on the streets and more than half are seen only once.”

This is echoed in the figures released regarding London in general which showed 57% of people sleeping rough were only spotted once.

He added: “Lambeth works in partnership with our own commissioned street outreach team, the UK Border Agency, Lambeth Police, the Mayor’s No Second Night Out project and our voluntary sector agencies to ensure that people do not remain on the streets and are assisted into accommodation wherever possible or are supported to be reconnected to their area or country of origin.”

Picture courtesy of Alexander Baxevanis, with thanks

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