GOVERNMENT figures released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show there are 50 per cent more people sleeping rough on the streets of Coventry, compared to the previous year.
Homelessness charity Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire says the rise is worrying, especially when compared to the annual increase of nine per cent across England.
The data was collected by Coventry City Council as part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Snapshot in England.
Responding to the updated statistics, Julian Price, Chief Executive of Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire, said: “These figures are worrying and show that this is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored.
“Homelessness is all around us and so much of it isn’t visible.
“We strongly believe these figures are just the tip of the iceberg – so many people are camping, sofa surfing and doing whatever they can to stay warm and dry over the winter months.
“Last winter, the Everyone In scheme provided temporary accommodation for thousands of rough sleepers. This scheme has now formally ended.
“New funds to help homeless people have been made available this winter, but these are unlikely to be enough to stop people from falling through the net and being left out in the cold.”
Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire provides a home and meaningful work for 17 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.
The charity is supported by their second-hand furniture shop on Red Lane in Coventry, along with other social enterprises including a house clearance service and the collection of bulky waste on behalf of Coventry City Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council.
There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 850 formerly homeless people in the UK.
In addition there are five Emmaus groups, all of which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their areas.
To find out more about Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire visit emmaus.org.uk/coventry-warwickshire or call 024 7665 1094.