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Homeless deaths at a high

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By Ben Murray
Front
Homeless deaths at a high

ESTIMATED homeless deaths in Dumfries and Galloway were the highest ever in 2022, according to recent statistics.

There were seven estimated homeless deaths in the region that year, compared to the three deaths in 2021, with the statistics reaching back to 2017.

South Scotland Colin Smyth MSP is taking a stand against the rise in homeless deaths, stating that one death is too many, warning that the Scottish Government must take action to avoid a crisis.

He said: “These truly heart-breaking figures lay bare the scale of our housing crisis.

“Every single life lost due to homelessness in our region is a tragedy, and even one death is too many.

“Each number represents someone who was let down by the system meant to support them and lost their life because of it.

“We simply cannot sit idly by and allow this tragedy to continue, the Scottish Government must take urgent action.”

He wants Scotland to declare a housing emergency and for the government to work with local charities and authorities to ensure as much support as possible is given to those experiencing homelessness.

Mr Smyth added: “The fact that homelessness in Dumfries and Galloway is growing at an alarming rate, in particular the number of children in temporary accommodation, raises the fear that the number of lives lost among homeless people will continue to rise.”

Alongside homeless deaths, recent figures have also shown a 25 per cent increase in homelessness applications in Dumfries and Galloway across 2022-23 compared to 2021-22.

The news of the increase in deaths follows recent figures that showed a 25 per cent increase in homelessness applications in 2022-23 within Dumfries and Galloway, compared to 2021-22.

Over 39,000 homelessness applications were made in the past year across Scotland, the highest number of applications since records began and 3247 higher than last year.

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