Asking Bournemouth University students about the city’s current homelessness crisis uncovered interesting opinions and views.
Both students had no knowledge of the current rates of rough sleepers in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area but held some strong opinions and views with one of the two students telling me.
“I would donate and help more homeless people out but I’m a university student and with the cost-of-living crisis I struggle to live and afford food myself although I have donated to food banks before in the past.”
The Latest spot check data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows there were 29 rough sleepers in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole during a spot check one night between October and November last year night.
This was up from 2020 where there were 25, but down from 2019 where there were 72, prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The other student responded the same saying: “I wish I did more for the homelessness community, but I also think the council should also do more as it shouldn’t all be down to the public.”
She also added that she would be more inclined to give a homeless person food instead of money as she worries on what the money gets spent on.
Across England, the number of rough sleepers has fallen dramatically since 2019 where 4,270 rough sleepers were recorded showing a 43 per cent decrease to latest figures recorded in 2021 showing 2,440.
The significant decline followed the launch of the Government’s ‘Everyone In scheme’, which provided councils with additional funding to house homeless people during the pandemic.
Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at housing charity Shelter, told the Daily Echo in March that the figures “show the race to end rough sleeping has started but it’s far from over.”
He added that the emerge of the cost-of-living crisis and lack of suitable long-term homes means “we’re now at a fork in the road.”
Mr Bhutta said the Government cannot meet its 2024 target without a “proper plan to tackle the root causes” and called on a roadmap to end homelessness.
If you would like to help your local area by donating but don’t know where to start, donating to food banks with any unwanted packet and tinned food you have in your cupboards and donating any unwanted clothes and shoes can be a great start to helping battle homelessness in your community.