Every year on a Thursday in November, the boroughs in London who have a recordable level of homelessness complete a snapshot of the level of homelessness in their area. This is basically a count of the number of people who have been rough sleeping in a particular borough.
South Bank Employers’ Group and Lambeth Council’s Homeless Outreach Team has worked together on the Central London count. For Lambeth, the last four years have recorded figures of 20 (2012) 21 (2014) and 25 (2015). This year Lambeth recorded a record figure of 18. Of these 18, 10 were found sleeping in Waterloo. This area in particular has historically seen higher levels of homelessness.
Of the number of homeless in Waterloo, two will be referred to the Lambeth Assessment Centre in Vauxhall, two will be moving home to reconnect with family. The remaining six are subject to plans in progress which will assist them in getting off the streets and into a more settled and sustainable lifestyle.
Overall the work carried out yesterday can, and in some cases will make a dramatic difference to some of London’s most vulnerable people and this is in large part a result of the excellent work of our borough’s outreach team.
The outcome-based nature of the Count demonstrates in clear terms how this form of engagement has a positive impact on Lambeth’s homeless community. As a group the BID is involved via our patrol team, clean team and the Jubilee Gardens team who either provide information to–or complete joint shifts with–the Outreach team.
These statistics are worth shouting about because they are a huge improvement on the numbers of homeless rough-sleeping in the area when compared to recent decades. In the 1990’s, average counts were around 150, so considerable progress has been made. The highest count was in 1994 where, in Waterloo alone, over 220 individuals were counted.
For more information on the Count, click here to access the Homeless Link website