‘Two homeless’ is not a full picture

PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 March 2011

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STATISTICS stating there are only two homeless people in North Somerset have been branded ‘misleading’ by a charity.

The figures were released after a shake-up in the way in which numbers of homeless people are counted, with local authorities such as North Somerset Council now responsible for estimating numbers.

And after the stats from the Department for Communities and Local Government were released, homeless charities and campaigners have said they do not paint the full picture of homelessness in the region.

Jon Codd, organiser of the annual Comfort at Christmas shelter in Weston, which welcomes many homeless people over the festive period, thinks the estimates may prove to be deceptive.

He said: “The fact the report says there are two people sleeping rough in the whole of North Somerset would seem to be a little misleading.

“What’s astonishing is that the national figures are mainly estimates. Of the 1,768 homeless people stated in the report, only 407 were counted.”

Duncan Shrubsole, a spokesman for homeless charity Crisis, said: “While these figures are encouraging in the context of last year’s ones before the method was changed, they are only ever an estimate or snapshot from the authorities.

“We would urge authorities to be more active and look at the wide range of places where homeless people might be.”


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