Blackpool rough sleeper count down by a third

The number of rough sleepers found in Blackpool during the annual official count has dropped by a third.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:16 pm

A total of 10 people were found on the streets during the 2020 count compared to 15 the year before.

The drop is in line with the national trend and follows intervention by councils to find accommodation for homeless people to protect them during the Covid pandemic.

Coun Neal Brookes , cabinet member for housing and welfare reform on Blackpool Council, said: “ Each year every local authority undertakes an official count of rough sleepers.

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Rough sleeper count

“In 2019 the figure in Blackpool was 15 and in 2020 that dropped to 10. This is in line with the national trend that saw a decrease over that time.

“It is important to note that these figures may be affected by the Covid restrictions and national lockdowns.

“Throughout the pandemic Blackpool Council has continued to provide a sustained level of support for members of the homeless community.

“Year round we work with our partners to support, accommodate and offer help to those who wish to accept it.

“If anyone is homeless or at risk of homelessness, they should contact Housing Options for advice and assistance.”

The rough sleeper count, which in Blackpool is usually held in November, is designed to provide a snapshot of homelessness with figures not released until they have been officially verified.

It does not include all the homeless people in the town – many people without their own home will have found a bed in a hostel or be sleeping temporarily on a friend’s sofa.

Blackpool Council’s Housing Options team organises the count in the resort with the help of volunteers from homeless charities.

Areas covered include the whole of the town centre, parts of North and South Shore and Stanley Park.

National government statistics show 2,688 people on the streets on one night in autumn 2020, down from 4,266 in 2019.

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