The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published figures today showing seven people rough sleeping on a single night in Burnley. This is an increase from four people reported the previous year, and fifth highest out of all 14 boroughs within the Lancashire County Council area.

Rough sleeping is defined as people sleeping, or about to bed down, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or other temporary dwellings. Figures include people sleeping in buildings or other places not designed for living in, such as stair wells, car parks, stations or makeshift shelters.

Emmaus Burnley helps people who have been street homeless as well as people experiencing other forms of homelessness: such as sofa surfing or living in temporary accommodation.

Our comment on the rough sleeping snapshot

Director of Emmaus Burnley, Stephen Buchanan, said: “These figures are totally unacceptable; one person rough sleeping is one too many. While we understand money has been announced today by central government to help local councils tackle homelessness, this is too little too late, and there is no mention of support for charities filling the gaps. This is why Emmaus UK has joined 36 other leading homelessness charities in an open letter this week to call on the Chancellor to urgently address the dire financial situation facing homelessness services.

“People coming to Emmaus for support are often among the ‘hidden homeless’. That is, people who go unseen and might not have been counted in this snapshot: people forced to sleep in vehicles, spend the night in public toilets, stay with friends or in empty buildings. When we are looking at the numbers of these people, taking in all forms of homelessness, the true figure of homelessness in this town is much higher.

Get help from homelessness

“After a lot of hard work across Emmaus in Lancashire, several people recently reached the last step in their support programmes and have now moved into employment and their own homes. So, places are currently available for people who need help moving on from homelessness.”


If you or someone you know has been affected by homelessness or is at risk of becoming homeless, please head to Get Support to find out more about apply for a place.