Thursday, May 04, 2017
At the beginning of this year, prompted by what seemed to be a recent significant rise in the numbers of people sleeping rough in central London, I set about documenting some of the many dark doorways and uninviting corners in which anxious, disturbed or destitute men and women now spend their days and nights.
I decided to focus on the places, rather than the people who use them, in order to highlight the harsh locations in which rough sleepers find themselves, without identifying the often vulnerable individuals who use them. Not all the photographs succeed in doing this - parts of faces are visible in one or two.
The pictures were taken on and off from January through March, and now the Greater London Authority has released figures for the numbers of rough sleepers recorded in the capital during that time. I was not surprised. They showed an increase of 7% on the same period last year - to 2,751 individuals over the three months. Nationally, rough sleeping has risen by 37% since 2010.
Each person has their own story, but together the bodies trying to keep warm on cold hard pavements are the most visible symptoms of the current crises in housing and adult social care provision in one of the richest countries in the world. Shameful. More pictures here.