‘Dramatic’ rise in people at risk from homelessness
Housing charity Shelter reports an 92 per cent rise in families with children seeking advice on how to avoid homelessness.
New figures released by the charity show that the number of people its helpline has assisted who are either homeless, or face losing their home, has risen by 80 per cent in the last three years.
The Shelter helpline is an all-year-round line staffed by more than 50 specialists. The number of families with children at risk of homelessness assisted by the helpline has increased by 92 per cent over the same period.
Over the past year, the charity’s website has also seen a 17 per cent surge in visits to pages providing homelessness advice, compared to just a three per cent increase the year before.
The findings come after Shelter’s Christmas appeal warned that 75,000 children in Britain will wake up homeless this festive period, living in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts or hostels rather than a permanent home.
Campbell Robb, the charity’s chief executive, said: “These figures are a shocking reminder of the daily battle so many families are facing just to keep a roof over their head.
“Through our helpline Shelter offers vital help to people who have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn. Our advisers give them the advice and support they need to get back on their feet.
“With demand for our services rising by the day, the support of partners is vital in making sure we can reach more families who need our help.”
Homelessness can be defined and measured in different ways, but there are some indications that the problem may be on the rise in the UK.