Hundreds of young Londoners slept rough during latest lockdown


Centrepoint have today responded to the release of the CHAIN rough sleeping report.

The report presents information about people seen rough sleeping by outreach teams in London in January – March 2021. It reveals thousands of people were forced to sleep rough during the third national lockdown.

The statistics found:

  • 3,002 people had been seen sleeping rough between. 1,567 people sleeping were found rough for the first time.
  • A year-on-year increase of 16-25 year olds sleeping rough, from 304 in 2019 to 309 this year (2%).
  • Over the course of 2020, the number of those found sleeping rough in London under 25 has consistently been around one in ten (10% this quarter). Many more will have been ‘sofa surfing’ or staying in dangerous situations to avoid the streets.

Last week, new research from Centrepoint revealed calls to the charity’s Helpline increased by a third (33%) during the pandemic when compared to the previous year, more than doubling some months. The charity says spikes in call volume often followed the introduction of local or national lockdown restrictions, suggesting these measures put more young people at risk of homelessness.

Responding to the findings Paul Noblet, Centrepoint’s head of public affairs, said:

“No one should have been forced to sleep rough in the middle of a national lockdown in temperatures regularly below zero. Shockingly today’s data shows that thousands of people, many of them vulnerable young people, simply had no choice but to do just that.

“The government showed real leadership at the start of the pandemic by giving councils and charities the resources they need to effectively end rough sleeping with Everyone In, investment that has paid dividends according to these latest London figures.

“Councils and the GLA have shown what they can do with the right resources but no one can afford to be complacent and turn the spending taps off at this still critical time. If central government wants to see fewer people rough sleeping then they must make a sustained investment in age-appropriate emergency accommodation and support.”