Homelessness in North Wiltshire
homeless adults in rural areas have fewer options than those
in cities where a large number of statutory and voluntary
services are available.
with the inner cities it is much harder to ascertain the levels
of homelessness in rural areas, since it tends to be much
the end of March 2009 and the beginning of April 2010, just
under 250 individuals visited the open access drop-in sessions.
of its location in Chippenham and the high cost of public
transport, the centre attracts very few guests from the other
towns and villages in North Wiltshire and we believe that
at present we are only reaching a small proportion of the
single homeless population of the district.
with friends and relatives is a common homeless experience
across England but appears to be most common in rural areas...Although
a positive experience for some, staying with friends or relatives
is typically characterised by insecurity, poor living conditions,
limited privacy and restrictions on behaviour and lifestyle."
Countryside Agency Research Notes Issue CRN 74 December 2003
without a roof
year nearly a third of those willing to give information at
first visit were sleeping rough (52 people). Compare this
with the much smaller figures for rough sleeping on a nightly
basis collected throughout the year which show no more than
7 rough sleepers at any time.
Surfers / Hostel Workers / B&B Guests
common with other rural areas, single homelessness is largely
an invisible problem with individuals 'sofa surfing' rather
than sleeping outdoors. Our statistics show that 25% were
staying with friends or family at first interview in 2009/2010.
Many fell into the category of 'sofa surfers' i.e. people
who have no housing security and who frequently have to move
on. Homeless doesn't always mean roofless. Our
statistics show only 26% of those interviewed, i.e. 44 people
had secure housing at first visit.