An estimated 778 homeless people died in England and Wales last year, according to the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics released today. The most homeless deaths in a year since records began in 2013.

The figures show that suicides among homeless people have increased by over 30% and almost two in five deaths were related to drug poisoning.

The average age of death was 45.9 years for men and 43.4 years for women.

Responding to these figures, Oasis Community Housing CEO David Smith said, “That two people die on our streets every single day of the year is absolutely tragic. These figures should make us all stop in our tracks and realise what a national emergency homelessness is.

“As the freezing, wet temperatures of winter kick in our teams are continuing to conduct early morning outreach and deliver food and sanitary packages to all those who, due to COVID, can’t currently access our drop-in services. They are seeing a real spike in rough sleeping and meeting many people who are newly homeless.

“I’d encourage everyone to take a moment to share a smile next time you see someone rough sleeping and call StreetLink, the free helpline to report that a homeless person may need help; this data is shared with our teams and many others around the country so we can attempt to reach those who need us.”

Find out more about Oasis Community Housing’s work this Christmas >