Homelessness - the facts

How many homeless people sleep rough?

Homeless takes different forms – the most severe and visible is rough sleeping. People who sleep rough are often called street homeless.

It’s very difficult to work out the number of people sleeping rough for a number of reasons - people bed down at different times, move about, and can be hidden away in derelict buildings. However, each year every local authority in England gives an estimate of people sleeping rough in their area.

London and the south east account for nearly half of all rough sleepers with central London, specifically the Borough of Westminster, accounting for about 1 in 13 of all rough sleepers in England.