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Homelessness is a complex issue. There is often no single cause, and no simple solution.
The BANES Rough Sleeper Count found 25 people sleeping in doorways or on the streets in 2016, in 2017 this number had risen to 34. These statistics do not account for the many more ‘hidden’ homeless people; those sleeping in night shelters, at friends houses, at B&B’s, or in temporary accommodation.
Structural factors such as austerity, the administration of benefits, housing and job shortages, and income inequality, as well as personal circumstances such as addiction, debt, and relationship breakdown, can cause and exacerbate homelessness, poverty and hunger.
At our Lifeline Centre, a daily drop-in for rough sleepers, up to 40 adults visit most afternoons to access a hot drink, clothing or bedding. Our visitors are both men and women, of all different ages and backgrounds. The reasons for their situation differ greatly.