Why We Do It
Medway has the largest total number of homeless people in Kent, with around 1500 people who are assessed as homeless or vulnerably housed. (CLICK HERE to see chart)
In Autumn 2022, twelve people were reported to be sleeping rough in Medway on the night of the official head count. But there has been a 26% rise in rough sleeping nationally. Figures have risen again, according to Homeless Link.
Most rough sleepers are male (88% in Kent overall, and 100% in Medway), and most are aged over 25. (Kent Analytics (March 2021) Estimated Rough Sleepers in Kent)
Of our 60 or so regular daily guests at the moment, 80% are men, 17% are BAME, and around half (47.6%) seem to have at least one support need, with a history of mental health issues affecting half of these, including substance abuse. 15% have a physical disability or health issue.
Not having a safe place to live affects so many other areas of life. Imagine not being able to give an address when registering for work, school or at a GP surgery. Fearing that someone will set fire to your sleeping bag as you try to sleep. The psychological effect of being ‘unseen’, having people walk quickly past you pretending you’re not there. So often people associate rough sleepers with drink or drugs, but it’s a chicken and egg situation about which comes first. And every story is different.
HOMELESSNESS RADICALLY CUTS LIFE EXPECTANCY
“Among homeless people, the mean age at death was 45.9 years for males and 43.4 years for females in 2019; in the general population of England and Wales, the mean age at death was 76.1 years for men and 80.9 years for women.
Up to 37 years lost... This is why we need to take action