Tragedy as 3 homeless people die during Covid pandemic in Portsmouth, according to ONS figures
THREE homeless people died in the first year of the pandemic, new figures show.
Official data from the Office for National Statistics shows three confirmed deaths in Portsmouth in 2020, with four estimated but unconfirmed.
Between 2013-2020, some 25 homeless people are confirmed to have died in the city, while estimates place this number at 31.
The Portsmouth politician tasked with preventing homelessness has said each death is a ‘tragedy’.
There were no homeless deaths in Gosport, Fareham or Havant in 2020.
Major efforts were made across the country to house rough sleepers at the start of the pandemic.
Many in Portsmouth were housed in the Ibis hotel in Fratton, while Gosport Borough Council set up units at Walpole Park car park.
The city council has since bought student blocks at the former Registry pub in the city centre to house rough sleepers.
Councillor Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘Every homeless person who loses their life is a tragedy.
‘The fact it occurs across the country does not make it any less painful for their friends or family.
‘That is why, when it happens in our city - especially if it happens in our care - the council works with its partners to see what lessons can be learnt and then make sure they happen.
‘We treat every homeless person as an individual because every life matters.
‘That is why, when even one of them passes away, it hurts.
‘The help this city has given homeless people has been transformed over the last 18 months and has helped hundreds into safe, secure accommodation with the support they need to get back on their feet.
‘If you are concerned about someone you think is homeless, you can help.’
He urged anyone to log homeless people’s details at streetlink.org.uk in order to get help.
There were five confirmed deaths in Gosport between 2013-2020, four in Fareham, and none in Havant.