Figures released this morning show that of the 597 homeless deaths in 2017, Bristol is the third worst affected with 17 deaths in the year, averaging over one death a month.
Bristol, as a local authority, was beaten by only Manchester and Birmingham. It marks a steady increase in recorded homeless deaths in Bristol, up from 13 in 2014. The figures have shown a disproportionate amount of deaths in urban areas.
James Cox and the Liberal Democrats have been leading a campaign locally for end of life care to be given to terminally ill homeless people, including a right to housing and social care.
Responding to the figures, James Cox, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol West, said:
“The fact that in a city like Bristol, 17 people died on our streets in a year is a disgrace and one we all need to take responsibility for.
“The homelessness crisis in Bristol has reached epidemic levels, and we are at the stage where more than once a month another homeless person dies on the streets we walk down. There is so much more we can do to help and there is no excuse for not doing it.
“Liberal Democrats demand better. The government has got to give councils like Bristol the ability to build thousands of new homes every year so people don’t end up living on the street. We’ve got to stop fining and arresting homeless people by scrapping the Vagrancy Act and we've got to make dignity in death a right for terminal homeless people, giving them somewhere to live in their final months. “