When most people think of a homeless person they tend to think of someone sleeping rough on the streets. Sleeping rough is a dangerous and traumatising experience . People who sleep rough are 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population .
It is difficult to get an absolute figure for the number of people sleeping rough. One reason for this is that, in order to protect themselves, many rough sleepers hide themselves away in places where they might be difficult to find and this is especially true for women. 44 per cent of current rough sleepers surveyed by Crisis reported that they had not had any contact with a rough sleepers’ team in the past month.
Devolution has lead to a divergence in both homelessness legislation and the way in which homelessness statistics are gathered. There are also particularly large numbers of rough sleepers in London. The following sections are therefore divided into England, London, Scotland andWales.