Metrics Measuring Homelessness and Poverty

20/06/2019
person walks by homeless individual

Walking round our urban centres in recent years, you might have felt (as we have) intuitively that there is a more visible homeless population. Perhaps you have also sensed that there has been an increase in overall poverty in your community.  But are there statistics to back up these feelings? Yes, there are. Let’s take a look.

Unsheltered Homeless People in England

Putting numbers on the unsheltered homeless population is notoriously tricky. Since 2010, the approach taken in England is for each of the 300 or so Local Authorities to do a literal headcount in the autumn of each year. These ‘point-in-time’ estimates have revealed an increase in the numbers of people sleeping rough:

Accounting for general population increase in this time, does little to alter the statistics. In 2010, fewer than 4 people were living homeless without shelter per 100,000 people in the general population. By 2017, this had more than doubled to over 8 per 100,000.

Sheltered Homeless People in England

The statistics regarding the sheltered homeless population – those staying with friends or housed in temporary accommodation – had been showing an improvement from a peak in 2005/6. But the years of austerity reversed this decline as this graph shows:

Occasionally, when the statistics are deemed sufficiently dire, homelessness and extreme poverty in the UK merit some attention from those with the power to change things. However, policies based on good intentions can quickly be reversed by successive governments who may have different priorities when it comes to spending public money.

Foodbank Usage

A good indication of the increase in overall poverty is the vast uptake of the services offered by foodbanks – as shown in this video by the UK’s leading foodbank charity, the Trussell Trust:

eoy2019-stats-animation-video-1 from The Trussell Trust on Vimeo.

The Kanndoo Approach

We don’t think that the well-intentioned homelessness reduction plans of government and local councils are working. And it seems that the statistics back us up. At Kanndoo, we want to eliminate poverty and homelessness once and for all. We’re raising money through the sale of our apps to fund projects that get people into permanent housing.

If you would like to know more about the Kanndoo project, please get in touch. If you want to help us, a good start would be to download one of our apps. They are fun, useful, and the proceeds go to helping those in need.

What do you think about the current crisis of homelessness? Have you got a solution to the problem? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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