Homeless sleep on streets before turning to Sally Army for help

HALF the destitute people turning to the Salvation Army for shelter in London have slept rough on the streets before seeking help. These shock findings come from a survey also found drug and alcohol abuse as the major causes of their homelessness

By Victoria Huntley

HALF the destitute people turning to the Salvation Army for shelter in London have slept rough on the streets before seeking help.

These shock findings come from a survey by the organisation which also found drug and alcohol abuse, financial problems and relationship breakdowns the major causes of their homelessness.

The charity founded by William Booth in Whitechapel in 1865 as the East London Christian Mission fears a new generation of young homeless men and women are turning to drugs and liquor.

DRUGS AND LIQUOR


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Nearly two-thirds in the 18-25 age group in London have a drug or alcohol dependency, much higher than other parts of the country. Almost a fifth cited drugs and alcohol as the reason for their homelessness.

Clinical psychologists analysed interviews with almost 1,000 homeless people who shelter nightly in Salvation Army hostels or use its day centres and found money and relationship problems among many of the causes.

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The highest number of people sleeping rough before turning to the Salvation Army was in London, researchers found, where one in every two had been on the streets.

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