The official, annual street count for York in 2021 showed that 4 people were sleeping on the street on a typical night.

People sleeping rough in York are regularly offered a safe bed, together with intensive and personalised support to help them off the streets and into more settled and secure lives. In 2017, the official number of people sleeping rough was 29, and in 2021 it is now 4.

This decline in rough sleeping has happened largely due to the council’s and partners’ specialist workers using a personalised and creative approach. They work with people sleeping out and offer beds in a wide variety of accommodation, support people to stay in their accommodation and manage the often complex issues which contribute to rough sleeping.

The annual official count of people sleeping rough takes place nationally between 1 October and 30 November. For 2 months before the count, information is gathered from partners tackling homelessness, members of the public and the regular street walks. On the night of the count, officers from the council, Changing Lives, the NHS, Salvation Army, North Yorkshire Police and local charities work to identify who is sleeping outside, who has accommodation and who doesn’t and where people were sleeping. The count was done alongside the routine offer of a safe bed and support.

4 people were identified as sleeping rough, which was verified independently by Homeless Link based on the findings of the count and on the other information gathered.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said:

No-one needs to sleep out in York. While 4 people doing so is 4 too many, I am pleased to see that our personalised approach and offer of tailored support is being accepted. This offer is a constant in the precarious world of life on the street.

“We continue to seek out people who might be sleeping rough and to offer them a bed and support. Our tireless staff find creative solutions to sleeping out in order to persuade people to accept the help offered.

“This work has been supported in 2020/21 by over £560,000 Rough Sleeper Initiative (RSI) funding which is a £127,000 increase on last year. Our work will continue to ensure that even more people are secure in safe and lasting accommodation with the support they need.”