It’s no holiday

May has been a great month for weather, with the sun even making its way here ‘up north’

sleeping homeless man on a bench

For many that would have meant sitting in the garden having a BBQ, drinks with friends in a beer garden or a trip to the seaside.

However, for the people sleeping rough throughout the UK, it would just have been another day.

When the weather is bad stories about homeless people are all over the media, but it’s not just a winter problem. Rough sleepers are still on the streets and it’s still uncomfortable, insecure and unsafe.

Rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh consecutive year, with statistics showing that an estimated 4,751 people bedded down outside overnight in 2017, up 15% on the previous year.

The Guardian revealed recently that the number of homeless people recorded dying on streets or in temporary accommodation has more than doubled over the last five years, rising from 31 in 2013 to 70 last year.

These are sobering statistics and even though it may currently be warmer for those who don’t have a roof over their head, it doesn’t make it any more pleasant for them.

The government has pledged to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eradicate it completely by 2027. It is investing £28m in trials to support rough sleepers with complex needs in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands.

This is to be applauded but I fear it will be difficult to achieve if the number of rough sleepers continues to increase.

So, please spare a thought for those sleeping under a bridge, in a shopfront or on a pavement tonight. It may be hot, but it’s no holiday for them.

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