Tragic figures reveal how many homeless people died in our region last year

The Government is investing 1.2billion to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping by 2027
The Government is investing 1.2billion to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping by 2027

Deaths of homeless people in the East Midlands have risen by almost 40 per cent in the last five years.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 34 homeless people died in our region last year – up from 25 in 2013.

Across England and Wales, some 597 people sleeping rough or in emergency accommodation were estimated to have died in 2017 – a 24 per cent increase on 2013.

Greg Beales, director of homelessness charity Shelter, said: “This appalling loss of life should be a source of national shame.

“There is nothing inevitable about homelessness or about these tragic deaths which are a consequence of a housing system which fails too many people.”

His comments were echoed by Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis.

Mr Sparkes said: “This is nothing short of a national tragedy – especially when we know that homelessness is not inevitable.

“In one of the world’s wealthiest countries, no one should be dying because of homelessness.

“It’s imperative that governments act now to stop this tragedy once and for all.

“Behind these statistics are human beings – mothers, fathers, daughters and sons – whose families will now be spending Christmas coming to terms with their loss.

“This has to change.”

Politicians react

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said: “These figures are clearly very concerning.

“Every death on our streets is one too many.

“These are complex issues but we are working hard to find solutions to that and that’s why we’re focussed on a homelessness strategy and putting money in to make sure people don’t need to sleep rough in the first place.”

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the Conservatives are investing £1.2billion to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping by 2027.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that there was ‘absolutely no excuse’ for the latest increase.