(2) what her Department’s latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who have been in prison;
(3) what her Department’s latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who have been in the armed forces;
(4) what her Department's latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who have a (a) mental illness and (b) addiction.
There has been major progress in tackling the worst form of homelessness, that of people sleeping on the streets. Since 1998 we have reduced rough sleeping by 73 per cent. Partnership working between central and local government, the voluntary sector and other organisations working with homeless people has been the key to the successful reduction in rough sleeping. The focus has been on providing support and accommodation for those on the street to help them rebuild their lives and move back to independent living as well as on homelessness prevention to stop people arriving on the streets in the first place.
We publish an annual estimate of rough sleepers based on street counts, which does not include information on ethnicity, previous spells in prison or the armed forces or mental illness or addiction.
There is specific information for London provided under the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) recording system. In 2006-07, for those rough sleepers in London contacted by services, CHAIN information is as follows:
18 per cent. of rough sleepers were from a black or minority ethnic community;
39 per cent. of rough sleepers had spent time in prison in the past;
5 per cent. of rough sleepers had spent some time in the armed forces in the past;
48 per cent. of rough sleepers have an alcohol need;
41 per cent. have a drug support need; and
35 per cent. have a mental health need.