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Frontline Network Partner in Leeds contribute to National Census

Frontline Network Partner in Leeds contribute to National Census

Frontline Network Partner in Leeds contribute to National Census

Monday, June 3, 2024

The Women’s Rough Sleeping Census in Leeds was conducted in the last week of September 2023, at the same time as it took place in London (30 boroughs) and 13 other local authorities across England.

Basis Yorkshire brought together key partners in Leeds as part of the national initiative to conduct a week-long, census of women sleeping rough. As part of the census in Leeds. 50 women were surveyed as rough sleeping, significantly higher than the street count data on women.

The census also offered data on the extent, numbers and locations of women rough sleeping. The data clearly showed that women often feel unsafe to stay in one place and seek out other people, evidenced by the locations women mentioned “sleeping” in: walking around all night, A&E, McDonalds, bus or train or with a stranger.  It also illustrated the risk of exclusion and the need for a more gender informed service and pathway design given the different survival strategies women adopt.

No including the total numbers of women rough sleeping has critical consequences for appropriate allocation of resources and design of services. As their needs are registered differently and their rough sleeping experience does not meet the Government definition, their needs are less likely to be met and pathways to support are more challenging.

Moya Woolven (Basis Yorkshire CEO): “I would like to thank all the women who took part in the survey and as an organisation we will continue to share its findings and challenge gender inequity in homelessness to do justice to their input and that of all the organisations that took part. We look forward to being a part of it again later this year”.

Download the full Leeds Women’s Rough Sleeping Census Report here:

The national coalition of leading women’s and homelessness organisations and local authorities around England who were part of the National Census across 41 different locations in England are now calling on the Government to change the way that women’s rough sleeping is recognised, counted and responded to: 

  • Make homelessness policies gender-informed: Current rough sleeping definitions, strategies and practices are based predominantly on the experiences of men. The government should use the findings from the census to ensure its policy and guidance are gender-informed and provide an equitable response to those who are rough sleeping.
  • Resource and lead the women’s rough sleeping census: The Government should lead the women’s rough sleeping census, supporting every local authority in England to conduct it annually.
  • Conduct an equalities impact assessment: All government data collected on rough sleeping should be subject to an equalities impact assessment to ensure that data collection methods are inclusive of women and minoritised groups.

Download the full National Report here:

This work could not have been done without a number of organisations and the local authority in Leeds working together in Leeds, a partnership  forged over many years of addressing homelessness in Leeds, amongst others thanks to the ongoing support from the Frontline Network whose funding allowed us to set up the Women’s Homelessness and Housing Frontline Network and the help of Homeless Link and Solace Aid. The Census has already established further partnership working and resources to address some of the issues raised in Leeds. If you’d like to find out more how you can be involved on addressing this topic as a practitioner, manager or policy worker in Leeds, please get in touch:

If you would like to find out about the work that the Leeds Women’s Homelessness and Housing Frontline Network are undertaking, and or join one of their upcoming network events, you can keep up to date with their work by signing up to their e-news here.

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