Bristol among worst places in UK for homeless deaths as 28 people die

A total of 28 homeless people died in Bristol in 2021

Bristol is the third worst-hit area in the UK for homeless deaths.

A total of 28 homeless people died in the city in 2021, compared to 18 the previous year.

Glasgow topped the list with 80 homeless deaths, followed by Westminster where 33 homeless people died in 2021.

The figures have been released by the Museum of Homelessness as part of its Dying Homeless project.

The project recorded 1,286 deaths across the UK in 2021 - a rise of 32% on the year before and an 80% increase compared to 2019.

The statistics include people who were sleeping rough at the time of their death as well as those living in emergency accommodation or other insecure settings.

The project got the figures via freedom of information requests, coroners' reports, charities or family members.

Director of homeless charity Caring in Bristol Ben Richardson told ITV News the deaths "aren't just statistics".

"They are people who were forced to spend the last days of their lives in conditions that are wholly unacceptable and preventable," he added.

He said the most common experience for those who are homeless is childhood trauma, with people who have died victims of "a system weighted against them to overcome this".

He added: "As a local organisation, Caring in Bristol will not let these deaths be in vain.

"Our communities need to work together to make sure no one ever falls through the gaps, and support our city to skill up at spotting the early red flags.

"Unfortunately we are all fighting against a spiralling cost of living crisis and a complete lack of affordable housing locally. Without urgent government support, we will see further deaths on our streets."

Chief Executive at homeless charity Emmaus Bristol, Jessica Hodge, said each of these deaths is a "tragedy".

"To be the second highest figure for any city in the UK is heartbreaking," she said.

She said Emmaus Bristol's team are finding it "increasingly difficult" to access healthcare service for people living at its accommodation, adding: "If we are finding it hard, it must be even more difficult for those who are sleeping rough, in temporary accommodation, or without ID.

"This is likely to be exacerbating the situation, with minor or treatable health issues worsening unnecessarily and causing early, and potentially avoidable, deaths."

Bristol City Council has been contacted for a comment.