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Rough Sleepers Initiative - Monitoring the target of ending the need to sleep rough by 2003

Description9 pages giving background to latest figures on Rough Sleeping, provided by George Street Research.
ISBNnot applicable
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateDecember 15, 2003

Rough Sleepers Initiative - Monitoring the target of ending the need to sleep rough by 2003

Introduction

The Scottish Executive has set a target that nobody should need to sleep rough in Scotland by 2003. Progress in meeting the target is being measured by George Street Research at the Scottish Executives request.

Method

The approach used involves collecting information from projects involved with those sleeping rough. The measures are taken twice a year (in May and October) and the approach involves:

· Projects providing details of the numbers sleeping rough over a typical snapshot week (collected on a log sheet) and

· An audit of direct access accommodation that is available to those sleeping rough on two nights during the snapshot week (recorded on an accommodation sheet).

Definitions used in the study are provided as a glossary at the end of this short report.

The initial response rates in May 2001 were high and have increased in each subsequent wave of research. The response rate for the log sheets rose from 81% in May 2001 to 98% in October 2003, while the response rate for the accommodation sheets demonstrated an even sharper rise from 62% in May 2001 to 95% in October 2003 [1] (Table 1). The response rates across the study indicate comprehensive coverage of the projects within the study.

Key findings: May and October 2001, 2002 and 2003

The total number of individuals identified as sleeping rough over the previous 7 days showed a marked decline over the first 3 waves of data collection, falling from 500 in May 2001, to 471 in October 2001 and then to 406 in May 2002. The October 2002 and May 2003 figure show no real movement thereafter with 404 individuals reported in October 2002 and 400 in May 2003. However, the figure for October 2003 depicts a decrease to 328 (Chart 1).

The weekly average figure of individuals sleeping rough has varied over the counts and was broadly the same in October 2003 as it was in May 2001. In May 2001 the average number of people sleeping rough each night was 64. In October 2001, this average had increased to 87 and in May 2002 the average number recorded as sleeping rough the previous night was 94 per night. The October 2002 result indicated a lower average figure again, at 68 people per night on average, but this has increased again to 75 individuals per night for May 2003 before falling to 62 in October 2003. (Table 2). The variability of this figure results from a mix of factors including the level of total contacts and the frequency of contact with individuals.

As Table 2 indicates, there are particularly low levels of rough sleeping reported over the weekend nights. The numbers reported as sleeping rough on the Friday and the Saturday (from projects seeing rough sleepers on the Saturday and Sunday) are much lower than other nights in the 7 day period.

In terms of the profile of those sleeping rough, each of the count waves support the proposition that most of those sleeping rough are men (79-85%). The number of women sleeping rough in October 2003 was 68, showing an overall decline of 10 females since May 2001. The absolute decrease amongst males is more marked (Table 3), declining from 418 in May 2001 to 258 in October 2003.

In all waves to date, the age group which makes up the largest proportion of rough sleepers is the 25-40 age group, consistently comprising just under half of all those identified as sleeping rough. Very few under 16's are ever recorded.

The relative contribution of those aged 16-24 years and those aged 41 years or more does vary. Generally the 16-24 year olds outnumber those from the older age group and represent a higher proportion of those sleeping rough. However, on three instances, the number of 16-24 year olds has fallen to be similar to the number of older individuals sleeping rough and the October 2003 data shows slightly more aged over 41 years (27) than aged 16-24 years (23), (Table 3).

Relatively low numbers emerge as repeatedly sleeping rough over each of the count periods, although the data on this is not comprehensive as it relies upon complete identifiers being known for each individual sleeping rough who appears in the counts.

No individuals have been identified as appearing in all six counts to date. Of those appearing in the most recent count (October 2003);

· 6 individuals appeared in the May 2001 count

· 8 individuals appeared in the October 2001 count

· 2 individuals appeared in the May 2002 count and

· 7 individuals appeared in the October 2002 count

· 7 individuals appeared in the May 2003 count

This gives some indication of the cyclical nature of some rough sleeping and is in line with comments from project staff about the difficulty in providing long term support for some individuals.

A comparison of the total numbers of those sleeping rough with the available bed capacityreveals locations where there would be a capacity shortfall if all those sleeping rough tried to access accommodation on the count nights in question.



Details are:

· The number of local authorities with direct access accommodation and an apparent shortage of bed capacity in May 2001was 3 (Table 4). The local authorities affected were Highland , ( Highland also appeared in the next 4 counts), Aberdeen and Renfrewshire.

· There were also 5 local authorities with direct access accommodation and where the same shortage of bed capacity was noted in October 2001(Table 5). The 5 Local Authorities were Aberdeen , Perth & Kinross, Highland , Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire.

· There were 6 local authorities with direct access accommodation and where there was insufficient bed capacity on the midweek night to house all those sleeping rough who were reported that night in May 2002(Table 6). These local authorities were again Aberdeen , Perth & Kinross, Highland , North Lanarkshire , North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire.

· There were 2 local authorities with direct access accommodation and where there was insufficient bed capacity on the midweek night to house all those sleeping rough who were reported that night in October 2002(Table 7). These local authorities were Perth & Kinross and Highland .

· There were 4 local authorities with direct access accommodation and where there was insufficient bed capacity on the midweek night to house all those sleeping rough who were reported that night in May 2003(Table 8). These local authorities were Falkirk , Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire and Highland .

· There were 5 local authorities with direct access accommodation and where there was insufficient bed capacity on the midweek night to house all those sleeping rough who were reported that night in October 2003(Table 9). These local authorities were Falkirk , Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire , Argyll and Bute and Aberdeen . In addition, there were 2 local authorities where the number of beds available exactly equalled the numbers sleeping rough in the area on the midweek night - Dundee and North Lanarkshire .

The main issues preventing people finding accommodation were generally consistent over each wave of the research to date. The main access problems appear to relate to drink (40%) and drug problems (37%) as depicted in the October 2003 data (Table 10). However, there are widespread occurrences of other problems such as mental health and behavioural problems (28% and 25% respectively).

Accommodation availability is also an issue (as depicted above) as are hostel bans. However, as a problem, the figures suggest that these are of less prevalence at this point in time than they were originally in terms of the numbers affected; no accommodation was available for 60 individuals in October 2003 and 51 were perceived to be excluded through a hostel ban. In terms of both hostel bans and accommodation not being available, more than twice this number were recorded with such an issue in May 2001.

Glossary

Rough sleeping

The definition of rough sleeping employed for this survey, and which was drawn from the policy definition was that an individual had to:

' have slept outside in a place not specifically designed for human habitation, at least once in the last seven days.'

Direct Access

This means that accommodation had to be available on a 'same day' basis for people who were sleeping rough - so an individual could apply for accommodation in the morning or during the day and would be given a space that night.

Total numbers

The exact number of individuals identified as having slept rough in the previous seven days throughout the snapshot weeks is collected. However, it is important to note that the period over which those who have slept rough are identified is longer than one week. This is because rough sleepers are asked if they have slept rough in the previous week. This means that anyone turning up at a project at the start of the snapshot week, who had slept rough in the previous seven days will be included.

Capacity

This is measured from Direct Access providers. It looks at unfilled bed spaces on each of 2 spotter nights.

Issues preventing people finding accommodation

Project staff are relied on to specify issues preventing people finding accommodation from their own knowledge and judgement. This should not be regarded as an objective measure.



Annex

Table 1

Response rates

May

2001

October 2001

May

2002

October 2002

May

2003

October 2003

Log sheets

% response achieved

81%

84%

93%

95%

95%

98%

Accommodation sheets

% response achieved

62%

86%

93%

96%

96%

95%

Chart 1

Total number of individuals sleeping rough in 2001- 2003



Table 2

Weekly and daily average number of 'slept rough last night'

May

2001

Oct

2001

May 2002

Oct

2002

May

2003

Oct

2003

Absolute change

October 2001 -October 2003

May 2001 - October 2003

Average over the week*

No.

64

87

94

68

75

62

-25

-2

Slept rough on this night:

Tuesday

No.

90

126

122

104

108

102

-24

+12

Wednesday

No.

70

117

121

80

94

85

-32

+15

Thursday

No.

70

86

104

80

79

66

-20

-4

Friday

No.

38

51

50

15

43

20

-31

-18

Saturday

No.

34

40

51

27

35

19

-21

-15

Sunday

No.

85

97

120

89

97

76

-21

-9

Monday

No.

58

94

93

83

71

68

-26

+10

* average calculated from the daily average figures

Table 3

Age and gender of people sleeping rough

May 2001

Oct 2001

May 2002

Oct 2002

May 2003

Oct 2003

Total %

(Number)

100

(500)

100

(471)

100

(406)

100

(404)

100

(400)

100

(328)

Gender

Male

83

(418)

85

(401)

81

(328)

81

(329)

84

(334)

79

(258)

Female

16

(78)

14

(67)

17

(71)

18

(73)

15

(61)

21

(68)

Don't know

1

(4)

1

(3)

2

(7)

*

(2)

1

(5)

1

(2)

Age

Under 16

*

(2)

*

(1)

*

(1)

*

(2)

*

(1)

0

(0)

16-24

27

(136)

27

(128)

23

(92)

30

(120)

27

(109)

23

(76)

25-40

48

(240)

49

(231)

48

(196)

45

(183)

46

(182)

47

(153)

41 or more

22

(112)

22

(105)

25

(101)

22

(89)

25

(99)

27

(89)

Don't know

2

(10)

1

(6)

4

(16)

2

(10)

2

(9)

3

(10)

* less than 1% but not zero.

Absolute numbers in brackets below the percentages

Table 4 Reported rough sleeping in local authority areas with direct access accommodation in May 2001

Thursday 10 th May 2001

Sunday 13 h May 2001

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

LAs with those sleeping rough and sufficient bed capacity midweek

Edinburgh

17

46

11

46

Glasgow

29

58

7

59

East Dunbartonshire

1

9

0

14

North Lanarkshire

1

4

0

2

Perth & Kinross

1

8

0

7

Inverclyde

3

12

3

6

LAs with rough sleepers and insufficient bed capacity midweek

Aberdeen

3

0

4

0

Highland

2

0

1

0

Renfrewshire

1

0

3

0

LAs with no rough sleepers but some bed capacity midweek

Dundee

0

6

0

10

Fife

0

5

2

3

Moray

0

4

0

4

Shetland

0

2

0

2

West Lothian

0

1

0

1

LAs with no available spaces mid week

North Ayrshire

0

0

0

0

LAs with no direct access

12*

0

3

*includes Argyll and Bute (6 individuals reported), South Ayrshire (2 individuals reported) and South Lanarkshire (4 individuals reported).



Table 5 Reported rough sleeping in local authority areas with direct access accommodation in October 2001

Thursday 25 th October 2001

Sunday 28 th October 2001

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

LAs with those sleeping rough and sufficient bed capacity midweek

Dundee

5

9

3

11

Edinburgh

32

61

6

53

Glasgow

41

90

11

66

Inverclyde

1

7

1

1

LAs with rough sleepers and insufficient bed capacity midweek

Aberdeen

11

2

11

2

Highland

2

1

0

0

Renfrewshire

2

1

0

1

North Ayrshire

1

0

0

0

Perth & Kinross

5

0

1

1

LAs with no rough sleepers but some bed capacity midweek

Fife

0

4

0

5

Moray

0

9

0

9

Shetland

0

3

0

3

LAs with no available spaces mid week

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

0

0

North Lanarkshire

0

0

0

0

West Lothian

0

0

0

0

LAs with no direct access

17*

0

7

0

*includes South Lanarkshire (4 individuals reported), Aberdeenshire (6 individuals reported) and Falkirk (7 individuals reported).

Table 6 Reported rough sleeping and available spaces in local authority areas with direct access accommodation in May 2002

Thursday 9 th May 2002

Sunday 12 th May 2002

No of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

No of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

LAs with those sleeping rough and sufficient bed capacity midweek

Glasgow

34

151

8

155

Edinburgh

25

105

11

90

Dundee

5

10

1

7

Argyll & Bute

1

1

0

0

Fife

1

1

0

4

LAs with rough sleepers and insufficient bed capacity midweek

Aberdeen

28

9

19

9

North Lanarkshire

6

1

1

1

Perth and Kinross

5

2

1

1

Highland

2

0

3

0

North Ayrshire

2

0

0

0

Renfrewshire

1

0

0

0

LAs with no rough sleepers but some bed capacity midweek

Inverclyde

0

6

0

6

Moray

0

11

0

11

LAs with no available spaces midweek

Shetland

0

0

0

0

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

0

0

West Lothian

0

0

0

0

LAs with no direct access

11*

0

7

0

*includes Aberdeenshire (2 individuals reported), Falkirk (7 individuals reported), South Lanarkshire (1 individual reported) and Stirling (1 individual reported).



Table 7 Reported rough sleeping in local authority areas with direct access accommodation in October 2002

Thursday 24 th October 2002

Sunday 27 h October 2002

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

LAs with those sleeping rough and sufficient bed capacity midweek

Edinburgh

30

52

2

59

Glasgow

18

68

16

67

Inverclyde

6

7

0

7

Aberdeen

1

7

0

7

Argyll and Bute

1

4

0

4

Dundee

1

7

0

5

Fife

3

8

0

4

LAs with rough sleepers and insufficient bed capacity midweek

Perth & Kinross

7

0

1

0

Highland

1

0

1

0

LAs with no rough sleepers but some bed capacity midweek

North Lanarkshire

0

3

0

2

Moray

0

2

0

1

Shetland

0

3

0

3

West Lothian

0

3

0

3

LAs with no available spaces mid week

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

0

0

North Ayrshire

0

0

1

0

Renfrewshire

0

0

0

0

LAs with no direct access

12*

0

6*

0

*includes Dumfries and Galloway (5 individuals reported midweek and 2 at the weekend), South Ayrshire (1 individual reported midweek) South Lanarkshire and Falkirk (1 individual reported by each midweek) and Stirling (4 individuals reported midweek and at the weekend).

Table 8 Reported rough sleeping in local authority areas with direct access accommodation in May 2003

Thursday 8 th May 2003

Sunday 12 th May 2003

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

LAs with those sleeping rough and sufficient bed capacity midweek

Edinburgh

40

49

15

34

Glasgow

25

81

6

81

Aberdeen

4

6

0

6

Dundee

3

23

0

22

Argyll and Bute

1

2

0

1

Perth & Kinross

1

4

1

7

South Lanarkshire

1

1

0

1

LAs with rough sleepers and insufficient bed capacity midweek

Falkirk

7

5

0

5

Highland

4

0

7

0

Renfrewshire

4

0

5

0

North Lanarkshire

2

0

0

0

LAs with no rough sleepers but some bed capacity midweek

Fife

0

15

0

4

Inverclyde

0

4

0

0

West Lothian

0

1

0

0

LAs with no available spaces mid week

Shetland

0

0

0

0

Moray

0

0

0

0

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

0

0

North Ayrshire

0

0

0

0

LAs with no direct access

2*

0

1*

0

*includes Dumfries and Galloway (1 individual reported midweek), East Renfrewshire (1 individual reported at the weekend) and Moray (1 individual reported midweek).

Table 9 Reported rough sleeping in local authority areas with direct access accommodation in October 2003

Thursday 23 rd October 2003

Sunday 26 th October 2003

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

No. of those sleeping rough

Available spaces

LAs with those sleeping rough and sufficient bed capacity midweek

Glasgow

34

80

9

89

Edinburgh

22

35

4

32

Fife

2

4

0

2

Perth & Kinross

2

5

0

2

Inverclyde

2

4

0

4

LAs with rough sleepers and insufficient bed capacity midweek

Falkirk

6

2

0

2

Aberdeen

5

3

0

4

Renfrewshire

4

0

0

0

South Lanarkshire

2

0

0

0

Argyll and Bute

1

0

0

1

LAs with no rough sleepers but some bed capacity midweek

West Lothian

0

2

2

2

LAs with no available spaces mid week

Dundee

2

2

1

2

North Lanarkshire

1

1

0

0

Highland

0

0

2

0

Shetland

0

0

0

0

Moray

0

0

0

0

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

0

0

North Ayrshire

0

0

0

0

LAs with no direct access

2*

0

1*

0

*includes Dumfries and Galloway (1 individual reported midweek) and Stirling (1 individual reported on both nights).

Table 10 Issues preventing person finding accommodation (log sheet)

Numbers

Proportion (%)

May

2001

Oct

2001

May

2002

Oct 2002

May 2003

Oct 2003

May 2001

Oct 2001

May 2002

Oct

2002

May 2003

Oct 2003

Base

500

471

406

404

400

328

100

100

100

100

100

100

Drink Problems

164

146

182

149

123

130

33

31

45

37

31

40

Drug Problems

177

163

141

161

138

121

35

35

35

40

35

37

Mental Health

116

100

82

115

81

91

23

21

20

28

20

28

Behaviour Problems

130

106

100

88

87

82

26

23

25

22

22

25

Hostel Ban

120

89

63

50

62

51

24

19

16

12

16

16

No accommodation available

146

147

109

84

82

60

29

31

27

21

21

18

Other

106

65

66

77

31

50

21

14

16

19

8

15




[1] The latter increase is due to projects that do not offer direct access accommodation being removed from the sample, as well as increased co-operation from projects.