Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Homeless people dying at double the national rate in Birmingham

Credit: ITV Central

Homeless people in Birmingham are dying at nearly double the national rate, according to new figures.

23
homeless people died in Birmingham in 2018.

The number of deaths was up from 18 in 2017 and was the highest number since records began in 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures mainly include people sleeping rough at or around the time of death, but also include those using emergency accommodation such as homeless shelters and direct access hostels.

Credit: PA

The mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has called the figures 'tragic and shameful'.

One of his headline pledges during the 2017 election was to tackle homelessness in the region, with a taskforce established to help 'design out homelessness'.

He says this has seen more than 90 rough sleepers across the West Midlands move into dedicated accommodation.

Despite the best efforts of everyone across the West Midlands, homelessness has proven to be incredibly complex and difficult to tackle, which is extremely disappointing.

"However I have no intention of giving up, and I am determined to continue to lead the region's efforts to bring down homelessness in the West Midlands."

– Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
Credit: BPM Media

Homeless man Kane Walker died earlier this year near Birminghams Bullring, as temperatures plummeted.

The 31-year-old was found in cardiac arrest on Sunday 27 January.

Just months earlier, he was filmed telling outreach workers 'he could no longer live like this'.

His death put a national spotlight on the issue of homelessness and prompted calls for more to be done to help those sleeping rough.

420
people were sleeping rough across the West Midlands in 2018, according to Government figures.

Birmingham city council say the number of homeless people in the city is representative of the national picture, and that it is working hard to address the underlying issues which cause homelessness.

Read more: