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Catching Lives responds to rise in Canterbury rough sleeping

Today’s Government statistics show an increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the district of Canterbury, with 22 people out on a typical night compared to 18 in 2021. Nationally, rough sleeping figure increased by 26%.

Catching Lives is seeing more people attending its day centre for support, including an increase in people sleeping in cars and vans, and more women sleeping rough. Each person is at risk, with rough sleeping linked to poorer health outcomes[i] and lower life expectancy[ii].

We expect to see further increases in rough sleeping as people struggle with rising costs. It’s especially worrying as we haven’t yet seen the impact of Kent County Council’s decision to stop funding its homelessness services. Independent charities like Catching Lives are left picking up the pieces when council services are cut, relying on the generosity of the public to keep our doors open every day.

Catching Lives’ Chief Executive, Tasmin Maitland, said:

“No-one should have to sleep rough, and yet every week we’re seeing people new to the streets. The increasing pressure of the cost-of-living crisis and rising rents is making it harder for people to find homes. Along with more people sleeping rough, we’re seeing more people who are hidden homeless, staying in unsafe places just to keep a roof over their head. Catching Lives continues to support every person who comes through the door, working with local partners to find solutions and end homelessness.”

[i] https://homeless.org.uk/knowledge-hub/unhealthy-state-of-homelessness-2022-findings-from-the-homeless-health-needs-audit/

[ii] https://www.bigissue.com/news/housing/two-people-died-while-homeless-every-day-in-england-and-wales-last-year/

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