A housing charity has named Leeds as the region’s worst area for rough sleepers as it launches an urgent appeal for support.
Shelter published a new report today which revealed that the number of people recorded as homeless in Yorkshire and the Humber region had reached 4,800.
Although Leeds was found to have the highest number of rough sleepers in the area, it ranked 19th out of 21 overall for homelessness.
The charity’s analysis found there were 81 homeless people, with one in every 9,651 people recorded as being homeless.
Meanwhile, neighbouring Wakefield and Harrogate were ranked in the top five worst areas for homelessness.
Tracey Nathan, a hub manager for the charity in Yorkshire, said: “It’s shocking to think that today, thousands of people are waking up homeless. Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.”
She said the charity speaks every day to people suffering because of the failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.
Its report said that more than a third of people currently living in temporary accommodation across England will still be homeless in a year’s time.
Earlier this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government allocated £3,431,502 to be used to tackle homelessness of all kinds across Leeds until 2019.
And it was agreed in August that £178,000 would be used to employ three new workers to help rough sleepers.
A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “As a council, we are absolutely committed with partners to providing a wide range of support to anyone who identifies themselves as having nowhere to live or is at risk of becoming homeless.
“While these figures are still significantly lower than the majority of other core cities, the ongoing challenge remains – to find more ways to prevent and end homelessness including for those who are currently rough sleeping.
“The additional funding we have received from government is already being used to help prevent homelessness including helping people access private rented accommodation.”
To support Shelter’s urgent appeal click here or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.