A snapshot of data provided by Gov UK puts into perspective rough sleeping across the UK in a single night and shows Nottingham having the highest numbers amongst the East Midlands.
Gov UK states that the rough sleepers they account for are those in open air, tents or make-shift shelters, not including people in hostels or shelters.
The data set is known as a ‘snapshot’ as it only accounts for rough sleepers in a single night, this gives us a simpler way to see what the reality of homelessness really is.
Out of the regions, the East Midlands falls 7th with 305 rough sleepers in one night.
However, when we take a closer look at the region, Nottingham has the highest recorded number of rough sleepers for one night three years in a row.
Pam Abbott has worked at Framework Nottingham for 20 years and is the Practice Development lead and a social worker for the organisation.
She says that the statistics of rough sleepers in Nottingham could be high because it’s an “accessible city.”
“It has a defined centre, so people don’t feel so isolated and at risk if they’re around other people in similar circumstances, there’s a sense of community amongst some of the street homeless.”
Interestingly, during all three years there seemed to be more men sleeping rough than women, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that there are less women that are homeless overall.
Pam points out that “there are definitely more men in the system” and explains that hostels can be “very scary places” for women and they’re likely to be more reluctant to access them.
However, “evidence shows that women are more likely to find places to stay, often putting themselves at risk from violence and abuse” she says.
The data also shows that those of a UK nationality are more likely to sleep rough compared to those with an EU nationality.
This is a trend also seen at Framework, but Pam does highlight that these numbers could be “skewed” and points out that a lot of EU nationals will be homeless in other ways.
While rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, there are also people who are classed as hidden homeless where they may not be entitled to help with housing.
The government’s “everyone in” scheme took place during the nation’s first lockdown where organisations like Framework were given extra funding to help place the homeless into local hostels and hotels.
Pam says that Framework has been able to keep its services running through the pandemic and both lockdowns, providing continuing support for those who need it the most.