Published on Sunday, 23rd July 2017

 

While numbers are rising across the UK, there is a clear north/south divide, with the strongest growth coming from the regions that make up the south. South eastern England as a whole has seen 60% growth over the last two years. Even in comparison to that high number, Portsmouth's 200% rise is dramatic.

 

There are various reasons this, most of which apply in most cities. One which does set Portsmouth apart is the level of support provided by the council and, much more importantly, by civic society, particularly churches and voluntary groups. From food to clothing, more is available here than in most other areas and this does tend to encourage inward migration. 

 

For many (but not all), addiction is a problem, as sometimes is mental health. The latter is outside the council's remit, as is policing, but there are a number of initiatives being worked on by the council all of which may help a bit. There are no silver bullets though.

 

The one thing no council can do is automatically hand out council housing, as - apart from it being in short supply - to do so would act as a massive draw and would push numbers through the roof. The council does however have 200 hostel beds and runs a shelter in the winter.

 

More details on the council's initiatives will be released as and when they are finalised.

 

Tags: Homeless