The Ministry of Housing conducted a survey of over 500 people who were sleeping rough and had multiple support needs for the year up to March 2020. Although this means that experiences through the pandemic are not included in the findings, this provides a revealing insight that helps break stereotypes and offers key insights.
The report examines responders support needs and vulnerabilities, and looks into all forms of homelessness, not simply rough sleeping.
It also highlights that on average, rough sleepers cost the public purse £12,260 per year which is over £9,000 more than is spent on the average person who is housed. This measurably demonstrates the support needs caused by the trauma of living on the street, and the absolute need to minimise the time exposed to this environment.
Other key findings include problems early in life can be factors that can lead to homelessness. Over 2/3 of those responding had spent time in care as a child, been permanently excluded from school, regularly truanted from school or left school before the age of 16.
This publication is just the start of the data and the Ministry plan is to do in depth analysis to plan future strategies. It is hoped that research will not only be carried out by the ministry by other research organisations, meaning it will transform how homelessness is addressed.
The full report is here: