Prince William has said “more support” is needed for people experiencing homelessness following the precedent set by the Everyone In scheme, when thousands of people were brought off the streets during the pandemic.
Speaking to The Big Issue after spending a day selling copies of the magazine, traditionally sold by people who are marginalised, struggling for work, or between homes, the prince said he wanted to play a role “building something more permanent” to tackle the problem.
“If we really want to fix homelessness it can be done, if we do it together and there’s a big team effort. It is possible,” he said, adding: “There’s no doubt about it, more support at the sharp end is needed, definitely.
“What I’d like to do is build something more permanent but fixing all the other issues as well. So we can tie everyone together, rather than fire-fighting going on in lots of areas, to bring everyone together and have it a bit more streamlined and co-ordinated. That’s my aim to try and tackle that and give the next generation less chance of being homeless.”
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More than 270,000 people in England were homeless at the last count in December 2021, including 126,000 children. The overwhelming majority stay in temporary accommodation like a hostel, bed and breakfasts or sofa surfing with friends or family. There were 2,440 people sleeping rough when the government took a snapshot count in autumn 2021.
With rents, fuel and food prices all hitting record levels in recent months, experts fear the cost of living crisis could lead to an increase in people registering as homeless with their local authorities.