Preston recorded double the number of people rough sleeping on a single night in autumn compared with the previous year, according to government figures released today –  the highest figure in Lancashire.

The snapshot published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities showed 13 people sleeping rough on one night [between October 1 and November 30th 2022], the largest number recorded of all the local authorities within the county council area.

Second highest was Blackburn with Darwen with a recording of 10 people rough sleeping, followed by Lancaster District Council where nine people were counted.

What is rough sleeping?

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.

The true figure of homelessness is much higher, as the estimate does not include people who are sofa surfing or living in temporary accommodation, such as homeless hostels or night shelters.

Numbers of people sleeping rough

In total the snapshot recorded 3069 people rough sleeping in England, up 26% from the previous year.

Stephen Buchanan, director of homelessness charity Emmaus Preston, said: “The rough sleeping figures released by the government today paint a very sad picture for the entire country and in particular Preston.

“No one should be sleeping on the streets. The fact this count shows more than double the number of people sleeping rough on one night in Preston, compared to the previous year, is a stark warning that more needs to be done.

“Looking at these figures amidst the current cost of living crisis, alongside the number of people who are sleeping on sofas and in temporary accommodation who were not shown in the figures today, we predict that sadly many more people will need our help in future.”

Where to find help

Emmaus Preston provides a home, support, training and meaningful work for up to 26 people in the city. Funding is generated to support the community in three second hand and new charity shops on Fishergate and Brookfield Street in Preston.


If you or someone you know would like to find out more about the support available for people rough sleeping, please visit Emmaus Preston’s Get Support page.