Rough sleeping down? Digging deeper... In Buckinghamshire today, 91 people are living in emergency accommodation and we are are providing support for over 50 of them. That's the most we have ever supported in emergency winter accommodation at one time and more people are coming to us for help every day. On Thursday 25th February 2021, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published their annual rough sleeping numbers for England. The figures showed that 2,688 people were thought to be rough sleeping on a single night in November 2020 which showed a decrease of 37% since the same point in 2019. In Buckinghamshire, the numbers went from 36 in 2019 to just five in 2020. James Boultbee, our CEO, said: “While the decrease in numbers initially looks like good news, the coronavirus-related Everyone in campaign, which saw people who were sleeping rough or in unsafe accommodation moved into emergency accommodation in March 2020, has helped uncover the true size of rough sleeping in the UK and here in Buckinghamshire. “The reality is the government have also said 37,000 people were facing sleeping rough in the UK as the coronavirus pandemic hit last March as that’s how many people were housed in emergency accommodation so they could ‘stay home and stay safe’. We announced earlier this week that we are currently working with 50 people who are living in emergency accommodation. Fifty people who otherwise would likely be sleeping rough in winter, and in a pandemic. It is distressing that so many people from our community are finding themselves without a place to call home. James continues: “We believe we need to be realistic about these facts, because every number is a person who has a right to a home. And we want to see all the great progress made towards ending homelessness continue. “The Everyone In campaign proved that it is possible to house anyone who is found to be homeless. We know that it is often easier and more effective to work with people on the challenges and obstacles they face, that contribute to their homelessness, when they don’t have to worry about where they are going to sleep that night. “Given how many people are needing our support right now, a number that is the highest it has ever been and continues to grow, we call on the government to continue to focus on the causes of homelessness and we will continue to work with them on providing solutions.” We are a charity that has been tackling homelessness in the community since 2007. We work to prevent homeless before it starts as well as working to reduce the harm that homelessness can cause. Our homelessness prevention and support services are free and available to residents across Buckinghamshire. If you have lost your home, or are worried about losing it, get in touch as soon as possible. Call our hotline on 01494 447699 email [email protected] use our online contact form We continue to rely on the generosity of people in our community, across Bucks and beyond for volunteers, resources and funding and as always extend our thanks to them. If you would like to make a donation, click here.