Project to count Cornwall's homeless numbers

A survey to find out how many people are homeless in Cornwall is to be carried out over the next few weeks.

Cornwall Council is carrying out the research with voluntary organisations.

A survey in October identified 76 rough sleepers in the county, a much higher figure than previously recorded.

The council, which is cutting £10m from front-line services, said the sharp increase was partly due to a change in the way information is collected.

Jamie Pere, Cornwall Council's housing strategy project officer, said: "This new survey will show us if the pattern is repeated and if seasonality has a bearing on the number of people in Cornwall who consider themselves to be homeless"

Mark Kaczmarek, the council's cabinet member for housing, said: "The last survey revealed some disturbingly high figures and this new exercise will provide even more information as it is important for Cornwall to understand the extent of rough sleeping."

People who access services in Cornwall's day centres, homeless projects, soup kitchens and one-stop-shops will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their housing status.

Of the 76 people who identified themselves as homeless in the October survey, 65 said they had been homeless for a month or longer.

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