Unique website mapping homelessness services across London is updated and relaunched.
The Atlas website was launched three years ago by London Housing Foundation (LHF) in partnership with Homeless Link. On average more than 200 people visit the site each month.
The Atlas is an interactive website that allows people to view homelessness service information and statistics across London, in a specific borough or at a multi-borough level. Commissioners, policy-makers and others working in the homelessness sector can use the website to access information quickly about available services and the latest statistics on rough sleeping. The Atlas provides a unique overview of the volume and composition of homelessness services in London for people with experience of or at risk of sleeping rough.
Comments from people using the Atlas include:
“It’s a useful tool for information about where services are located geographically. When we receive queries … about local support, this tool helps to collate information on local provision quickly… It’s useful to see CHAIN statistics mapped vs. MHCLG [Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government] street count statistics.” (Policy professional)
“It is useful to identify the range of services in a borough – for example, when bidding to provide services in a new area.” (Service provider)
“[We use the Atlas to] find out what other providers and services are present in areas that we work in, or are considering working in… It’s very well designed, easy to use and useful.” (Service provider)
Ian Brady, Executive Chairman of the LHF, said:
“We believe this updated and refreshed Atlas provides an even clearer view of services for people facing rough sleeping and homelessness in London. The Atlas provides a unique view of the diverse agencies across London working to end homelessness. It has already proved a useful tool to local authorities, homelessness agencies and researchers.”
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, commented:
“The Atlas is an invaluable resource for London’s local authorities and frontline services as they plan and deliver support for people experiencing homelessness in the capital. This year, the information is even more comprehensive than before, and will include some new, evolving data on the accommodation provided as part of the Everybody In response to Covid-19.”
Becky Rice, Project Manager, added:
“The last year had been one of huge disruption, extraordinary efforts and rapid innovation in the homelessness sector. A public-health-driven response to those sleeping rough with Everyone In changed the offers available for people facing rough sleeping; services from day centres to shelters had to radically change the way they work. The Atlas gives a unique data-driven overview of the sector. We are also looking forward to publishing more analysis through our blogs and Atlas Insights in the coming weeks and months.”
The Atlas shows that there are more than 10,000 supported housing and hostel accommodation spaces in London for people or households without dependent children – and primarily those who are rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping.
- The areas with the highest number of accommodation spaces are: Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, and Camden.
- The lowest numbers of bed spaces in such accommodation are in outer borough locations including Richmond upon Thames and Barnet.
- There are at least 100 homelessness organisations providing support to people in London.
- The most common providers (in terms of the number of services) are St Mungo’s, Look Ahead and Single Homeless Project (SHP). There are 106 organisations that have just one or two services as opposed to being part of a much larger homelessness service provider.
- Twenty-six boroughs commission a local service to provide the street outreach for people who are rough sleeping in their area. Other boroughs rely on London Street Rescue, commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), for street outreach.
- Thames Reach is commissioned to provide London Street Rescue. St Mungo’s is the largest provider of outreach services providing many borough-commissioned teams.
- The Everyone In initiative announced in March by MHCLG put the onus on local authorities to offer accommodation to anyone sleeping rough or at risk of rough sleeping in their area.
- Data presented in the Atlas from London Councils shows that Everyone In saw more than 5,000 people accommodated in emergency accommodation in July 2020 and 3,500 in emergency accommodation in February 2021. Information from MHCLG shows that, to date, there have been more than 4,000 moves to settled or supported housing as a result of Everyone In.