The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has released the rough sleeping statistics for autumn 2020.

Cornwall is one of the areas where rough sleeping has increased and is one of the top ten local authorities for highest estimated number of people sleeping rough in autumn 2020.

The graph below shows the local authorities with the highest estimated number of people sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2020:

In England overall, there were 2,688 people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night between October 1 and November 31. This has fallen for the third year in a row from its peak in 2017 but remains higher than 2010 when the snapshot approach was introduced.

This snapshot data is based on the number of people who sleep rough on any given night. It only includes people seen sleeping rough and doesn’t take into account people in hostels, night shelters or sofa surfing.

The report states that areas with an increase, like in Cornwall, is largely due to the impact of COVID-19, including people losing their jobs and being unable to pay rent, illegal evictions, relationship breakdowns, people sofa surfing who have been asked to leave and reduced winter shelter provision, along with increased outreach services giving a more accurate count.

The ‘Everyone In’ scheme has helped to protect thousands of vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, anyone sleeping rough at the moment is made especially vulnerable by the pandemic, on top of the issues they’d normally face.

The fact that anyone is sleeping rough and that some areas have seen an increase, especially while we have had three national lockdowns, shows that more needs to be done to support people facing homelessness.

These statistics and the increase in rough sleeping in our county shows the urgent need for our Emmaus community to be established. We are currently fundraising to create a unique residential site that will offer a home to people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, along with the opportunity to gain work experience in a social enterprise and receive daily support and funded training. Our ultimate aim will be to provide people with the chance to rebuild their lives and move on into independent living, breaking the homeless cycle for good.

If you would like to make a donation to help us establish our Emmaus community, please visit here.