There are X thousand of registered homeless people who sleep rough every night. The true figure of the total amount of people who live without a home is many times more than this.
In order to be officially classed as homeless you must register and present yourself to the local council as being homeless. Very few people will ever do this as there is little benefit of doing so unless you fall into the priority category of people as listed below.
The government aims to home ‘priority’ people first. These include:
- Pregnant women
- People under 18
If you fall outside of these criteria you are often left to fend for yourself.
Many people are turned away from homeless shelters as they are full.
People often turn to petty crime when they first become homeless as a means of supporting themselves. The vast majority of these people would have never of committed any type of crime before.
Homeless people’s number one priority each night is to find somewhere warm, dry and safe to stay.
Hundreds of homeless people die each year through cold related causes (hypothermia etc). This figure includes women and children.
People are often forced to stay in unsafe places as a sacrifice to staying warm or dry. If homeless people were given proper equipment then they could stay in much safer places.
Often homeless people would be involved in fights over places to stay and personal possessions like sleeping bags. These fights often end up at A&E which causes undue strain on the national health service.
Giving out proper equipment would allow homeless people to stay warm and dry and thus allow them more freedom over the places they chose to sleep which in turn leads to greater safety.
Homeless people often use drugs and/or alcohol to help numb their bodies to the harsh outside environment. For many, their first experiences of drug use come after shortly becoming homeless.
Alongside physical issues, living on the streets without a safe, warm and sheltered environment can cause many mental health issues which if left untreated can be detrimental to the person and society.