Even the Covid-19 pandemic could not stop campaigners shining a light on homeless deaths this week.
The Museum of Homelessness’ Dying Homeless Coalition – a group of experts, frontline workers and journalists, including The Big Issue – paid a touching tribute to the 976 lives lost without the dignity of a home in 2020.
On Tuesday, a candle marking each person – some named in MOH’s harrowing count released earlier this week, others listed merely as unknown – was laid on Nelson’s Column in a deserted Trafalgar Square and St Martin-in-the-Fields church steps in recognition of a life lost too soon.
The count – sourced through freedom of information requests, news stories and public submissions -found a person experiencing homelessness died every nine and a half hours across all four countries in the UK – a 37 per cent rise on 2019.
Covid-19 accounted for only three per cent of deaths, lower than the 15 per cent caused by alcohol abuse or suicide, which was behind 36 per cent of deaths where a cause was confirmed. The average age of death was 43 for men and just 39 years of age for women.
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