There are 291 people recorded as homeless in Eastbourne, a report by Shelter has revealed today (Wednesday).
The housing charity says there are 19 rough sleepers and 272 people living in temporary accommodation in town – and one in every 354 people are homeless.
In the most extensive review of its kind, Shelter combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures, which showed the number of homeless people in the South East has increased by 20 per cent in a year to 27,600.
However, as government records are not definitive, the charity says the true figure of homelessness is likely to be even higher.
To identify where the problem is most acute in the region, the charity mapped the top 20 hotspots with the highest levels of homelessness. Brighton and Hove topped the list where one in every 69 people are homeless.
Shelter has launched an urgent appeal in response to the mounting crisis, calling on the public to support its frontline advisers as they work tirelessly to help people to stay in their home or find a new one.
Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter said, “It’s shocking to think that today, almost 28,000 people in the South East are waking up homeless.
“Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.
“On a daily basis, we speak to people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness.
“A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.
“As this crisis continues to unfold, the work of our frontline advisers remains absolutely critical.
“We will do all we can to make sure no-one is left to fight homelessness on their own. But we cannot achieve this alone; we urgently need the public’s support to be there for everyone who needs us right now.”
The charity’s report – called Far from alone: Homelessness in Britain in 2017 – also shows how hard it can be to escape homelessness amid a drought of affordable homes and welfare reforms, such as the four-year freeze on housing benefit.
Across England, more than a third of people currently living in temporary accommodation will still be homeless in a year’s time.
To support Shelter’s appeal visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.