Charities say rise in Hull's homeless population due to withdrawal of support

There are now more than 300 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Hull according to the latest figures.

The figure has increased by a quarter since the start of the pandemic with charities in the city saying that it has been brought on by the sudden withdrawal of support for some of the region's most vulnerable people.

Some organisations helping vulnerable people in the area have said that rising living costs and the loss of the £20 a week universal credit uplift are driving more people to the streets.

Elle has been homeless since she left home at the age of 15. Credit: ITV News

Elle used a combination of sofa surfing and hostels to keep a roof over her head during the pandemic and said that the constant fear of violence was a reality of daily life.

"It's kind of dangerous, life-threatening, any day that could happen, involved in drugs, could get punched just for money, to live, it's terrifying," she said.

Elle left a difficult home environment at 15 - and for much of the past eight years, she's been homeless.

The Raise the Roof Homeless Project in Hull has said it has seen a surge in demand for its soup kitchen, with food now being offered three times a week.

Carl Simpson, from the charity, said: "We've had an increase, it's visible at the soup kitchens, you can see that, end of UC and people struggling to find affordable accommodation."

One of the charities volunteers, Phil, has been homeless for a year after losing his job as a chef and struggling to find accommodation due to high-rent prices.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Hull City Council said: "We are seeing an increase in requests for advice... Our primary aim is to prevent homelessness, and we work with and support anyone aged 16 or over who approaches us."

A government spokesman added: "Our action during the pandemic helped keep people in their homes and off the streets. We are building on this by providing over two billion pounds in the next three years to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness, including over two point six million pounds for Hull this year."