Man sleeping rough on steps

City counts fewest rough sleepers in six years

Joint outreach teams have contributed to fall in nightly tally, says councillor 

THE number of rough sleepers in Cardiff was at a six-year-low last week, according to a cabinet member for housing and communities. 

Outreach teams recorded just 34 rough sleepers on January 23, Councillor Lynda Thorne tweeted. 

“I am enormously proud that the work that the outreach and multidisciplinary team do makes a real difference,” Coun Thorne said. 

“It’s the best it’s been in six years.” 

She cited new mental health specialists and multidisciplinary teams, put in place after securing a grant from the Welsh government. 

The count takes place every night across the whole city and includes people who are sleeping rough, regardless of nationality or immigration status, but not people staying in emergency accommodation. 

The charity Huggard, which houses people who are sleeping rough, said these figures tend to fluctuate. 

Spokesperson Lee O’Shea said: “It all depends on the weather and circumstances.”

He said that on busy nights the centre might house up to 125 people, 90 on a quiet night – but that these are not all rough sleepers. 

At this time last year, charity The Wallich were supporting 28 people per day with rough sleepers’ intervention teams. 

But Mr O’Shea said it had been a busy time for Huggard. “It’s probably the busiest I’ve ever known the centre and I’ve been here 13 years.” 

He listed Universal Credit, young people becoming homeless and mental health provision as key issues that have caused a high overall number of homeless people. 

The Welsh government is due to publish its annual report, the National Rough Sleeper Count, next Tuesday. 

Cardiff Council are also starting a review of its services for single homeless and vulnerable people and is expecting to make more announcements. 

Cardiff Council have been contacted for comment.