Almost two people per day died while homeless in England and Wales in 2018, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, representing a rise of more than 20 per cent on the previous year.
The shocking statistics showed that 726 homeless people lost their lives in 2018 – 22 per cent higher than the 597 estimated deaths in 2017 uncovered ONS’ first-ever official count released last December.
The increase is the highest year-on-year increase in ONS’ time series that goes back to 2013 with their estimates finding that the number of homeless deaths has increased by 51 per cent in the last six years.
In response to this shocking news, @BobBlackman says we need to identify everyone who is sleeping rough, and ensure there is Government funding to get people into accommodation as quickly as possible
— St Mungo's (@StMungos) October 1, 2019
For the 2018 count, ONS’ head of analysis and life events Ben Humberstone revealed that drug poisoning accounted for two in every five deaths – that, too, has risen by 55 per cent since 2017 compared to an increase of 16 per cent for the whole population over the same period.
Responding to the figures, Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive, said: “It is heart-breaking that hundreds of people were forced to spend the last days of their lives without the dignity of a secure home. In this day and age there is no excuse for anyone dying without a safe place to call home.”