Twenty-three homeless people are estimated to have died in Bristol in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics. Along with cities like Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham, Bristol tragically ranks amongst the most affected in England and Wales.
Homelessness is a complex issue but the simple truth is this: one person sleeping rough is one person too many; one death on our streets is one death too many.
The pandemic has only further highlighted this long-standing injustice. Working together as One City, since March we have supported 1,200 people with housing placements and helped 700 more families keep a roof over their heads. Across Bristol, people are struggling to make ends meet – only a few steps away from crisis. It has never been more important to safeguard our city’s safety net, and we continue to provide a range of support to Bristolians. To seek advice if you, or someone you know, is at risk from homelessness, please visit our dedicated website for advice and support. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, please make a referral through Street Link.
It is welcome that Bristol has secured almost £5 million of funding towards longer-term solutions, including additional accommodation and wrap-around services. Our hope is that there will be a clear and sustainable funding settlement for homelessness, so that we never return to the endless bidding-and-waiting bingo structure; otherwise uncertainty will continue to compound crises, with all that means for those depending on councils to help end this injustice.