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Released today (28/06/22) the CHAIN annual bulletin for 2021-22 shows the following:

  • 8,329 people were seen rough sleeping by outreach workers in London which is a 24% decrease from 2020-21.
  • More than 75% of the people seen had a support need with 50% having a mental health need which demonstrates the complexity of supporting people facing homelessness.
  • Just over one in twenty (6%) of people recorded rough sleeping in 2021/22 were seen more than ten times by outreach services.

Responding to the figures, Rick Henderson, CEO at Homeless Link the national membership charity for frontline homeless organisations, said:

“Everyone deserves a safe place to live and the support they need to maintain it. Therefore, the continued drop in the number of people rough sleeping in the capital is greatly encouraging. The numbers are testament to the dedication of local authorities and homeless charities across London, who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to provide stable accommodation and support to those who need it.

“But, over 8,000 people being forced to sleep rough over the year is still far too high. At the same time, the rise in the proportion of people living on the streets with a mental health need, shows more needs to be done to support people in the most complex situations.

“With the cost of living crisis starting to take hold and possibly pushing more people into homelessness in the near future, it’s vital that we keep pushing forward in the coming months to continue this progress.”

Notes to editors

Homeless Link is the national membership charity for frontline homelessness services, representing over 900 organisations across England. We work to improve services through research, guidance and learning, and campaign for policy change that will ensure that everyone has a place to call home and the support they need to keep it.

The CHAIN reports present information about people seen rough sleeping by outreach teams in London. Information in the report is derived from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN), a multi-agency database recording information about rough sleepers and the wider street population in London. CHAIN, which is commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by Homeless Link, represents the UK’s most detailed and comprehensive source of information about rough sleeping. They are published here

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Sophie Boobis

Head of Policy and Research

Head of Policy and Research