Two homeless deaths per week in Scotland

homeless- CREDIT TO Garry Knight.jpg

Homeless person in Edinburgh. Photo credit to Garry Knight.

A recent investigation has found that 94 homeless people in Scotland died last year.

The findings have called for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to launch an urgent probe.

The research, carried out by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Ferret, also found that 449 people, living on the streets, in shelters, and in temporary accommodation across the UK had died.

However, it is thought the total is likely to be higher than the reported number, as this is the first time that there has ever been a count of homeless deaths.

Homeless deaths often go unnoticed, and there is rarely an official record. The bureau delved further, publishing their findings to mark World Homeless Day.

They began the investigation last October as part of their Dying Homeless Project. Across the UK, there were 449 deaths recorded.

The investigation has published a first-of-its-kind database which lists the names of the homeless people have died, and tells their stories. Of the 449 deaths, the bureau was able to publicly identify 138.

From their findings, more than half of the people died on the streets. 16 people died in hospitals, and 47 died in temporary homeless accommodation.

Last year, the number of people in Scotland applying to be classed as homeless rose for the first time in nine years.

Many of the deaths recorded in Scotland, happened in Edinburgh, with others from Glasgow, Shetland Islands, and the Outer Hebrides.

Homeless charities have now asked for the statistics to be recorded the same way as they are with drug deaths. The investigation has prompted the Office for National Statistics to start producing its own figures on homeless deaths.

Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said, “We are deeply saddened and shocked beyond belief to hear of the deaths of all these individuals.

“We know that sleeping rough is dangerous, but this is investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reminds us it’s deadly.

“Those sleeping on our streets are exposed to everything from sub-zero temperatures, to violence and abuse, and fatal illnesses.

“We must all take responsibility to hold society and our system to account, and ensure it doesn’t continue to happen across our country.”

Here is what some Edinburgh locals have to say on the subject.

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