Rough sleeping rose in nine out of twelve districts in Kent (not Medway) last year according to official figures released by the Ministry for Housing Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).
The single largest increase in any district was in Swale. The largest decreases was seen in Maidstone followed by Thanet.
The report says 214 people were counted or estimated; which is decrease of eight on last years figures produced by MHCLG, as you can see from the chart below.
As the figures show there is a marginal fall in rough sleepers.
However, we know that for every rough sleeper seen on our streets, there are many more hidden homeless people who are sofa-surfing, staying in unsafe or unsuitable accommodation or putting themselves in desperate situations to find a bed for the night.
Rough sleeper figures are based on one-night counts or paper estimates carried out in October or November. They are defined as people sleeping, about to bed down or bedded down on the street, in doorways, parks, tents and sheds, but does not include people in hostels or shelters.
The figures released by MHCLG may show a slight decrease in the number of people rough sleeping but these figures are the tip of a much larger iceberg as they only attempt to count the number of people sleeping rough on one night of the year.
We call upon all nine Council’s who say an increase to make it more than their ambition to eliminate rough sleeping altogether by 2027.
The Shepwayvox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful