New research from the Museum of Homelessness has revealed that a homeless person dies every 19 hours in the UK.
This shocking fact was uncovered by the Museum after investigating homeless deaths from January to June this year.
The group found that at least 235 people affected by homelessness died over this period, and they ranged from 16 to 104 years old.
Their work forms part of the Dying Homeless Project – an effort to monitor and record the deaths of homeless people, so they aren’t forgotten by the system. Until October 2017, nobody collected data on the circumstances of homeless deaths.
The data gathered by the project shows that more than 30% of fatalities since 2017 have occurred when people were in emergency or temporary accommodation – revealing the grave failure of UK homeless services.
The Museum’s co-founder Matt Turtle says:
“We regularly hear from people who feel they’re safer on the streets than in hostels and this data shows why.
“People are placed in inadequate, unsafe accommodation, whether badly run hostels or other forms of private rented accommodation, with all too often fatal consequences.”
Homeless people also face horrific levels of violence, according to the data. The Museum tells the story of Ionut Manea, who was brutally murdered whilst staying at a homeless encampment in Ilford. The 38 year-old from Romania, who had been working as a casual labourer in the area, died after the temporary encampment in which he lived was set alight.
For too long, society has closed its eyes to the suffering of homeless people. It’s time for that to change.