The number of women rough sleeping is significantly underestimated. They hide from the dangers of the streets and are often missed by existing data collection methods. Therefore, the true scale of women's rough sleeping remains unknown. 

In October 2022, Single Homeless Project designed, planned, and coordinated the first London-wide Women’s Rough Sleeping Census, in collaboration with a coalition of leading homelessness and VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) charities. The census was delivered on the back of our research into women’s homelessness in Camden, which highlighted the need for better data collection to evidence the scale of women’s rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness.

After a successful first year, the census will be delivered again in 2023 to build upon the recommendations and insights gained from the first pan-London women’s rough sleeping census in 2022. 

The census aims to uncover the extent of women’s rough sleeping and bring visibility to women who are rough sleeping, ensuring that they are accurately represented in data, policy, and services. Primary data will be collected over a week (from September 25th to October 1st, 2023) using an innovative, gender-informed approach to data capture that truly accounts for women’s experiences. The findings will serve to advocate for and inform changes to the way rough sleeping data is collected, and the way homelessness services reach and support women.

Can you or your service help?

The census is only possible thanks to the participation of a wide range of services and sectors. If your service supports or encounters women with experiences of homelessness, it’s likely that some of them might have experienced rough sleeping and can be included in the census. Your service might be a VAWG, health, drug and alcohol, migrant support service or a community group, or another type of support provider. 

The more services that are involved, the more women we will be able to reach – and the more we can learn about how best to find and support them. 

To learn more about the 2023 census, how you can get involved, and what it entails, check out the information sheet below and Solace’s website:

Census information sheet