Scale of rough sleeping in major Yorkshire city revealed amid plea to 'pull together' for homeless

A charity is launching its only sleepout in North Yorkshire this year to help raise thousands for local causes supporting the homeless. It comes as new figures show the scale of rough sleeping in York - and also the number of people waiting for a property.

New figures highlighting the scale of York’s housing shortage show the need to “pull together” to help those without a roof of their own, a leading charity has warned.

Data from York City Council has revealed that over 1,500 people are waiting for a property in the city while on average, around fifteen people sleep rough on the city’s streets each night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The figures have been sourced by CEO Sleepout ahead of the homeless charity’s annual York fundraiser next month.

CEO Bianca Robinson (right), of CEO Sleepout, is launching a fundraiser in YorkCEO Bianca Robinson (right), of CEO Sleepout, is launching a fundraiser in York
CEO Bianca Robinson (right), of CEO Sleepout, is launching a fundraiser in York

Dozens of business leaders will sleep out at York’s LNER Community Stadium on Thursday April 18. The event aims to raise tens of thousands of pounds for causes working to battle poverty and homelessness throughout the area.

According to the charity’s CEO, Bianca Robinson, money raised from the sleepout will serve as a “lifeline” for hundreds of vulnerable locals.

“York may be a beautiful city, but the ugly truth is that too many people here are struggling to survive,” said Bianca.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The amount of people in York simply waiting for a home to call their own is too high in this day and age, but the reality is that the cost-of-living crisis is making life increasingly hard for everyone – especially our most vulnerable.

“The Government vowed to end rough sleeping by 2024, yet nationally, there are record rates of homelessness and that figure is getting worse by the year.

“That’s why we are urging York’s business community to pull together and brave the York CEO Sleepout this year. A few hours in the cold will help support locals who wake up each day wondering if they’ll have a bed - or even a roof - over their heads that night.”

Figures made public by York Council show that 1,505 people are currently on the authority’s waiting list for a home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council’s last annual rough sleeper count found that at least fifteen people were sleeping rough, while nationally, the number of rough sleepers was up a quarter in 2023.

According to data previously published by another charity, Shelter, over 40 per cent of those classed as homeless on any given night in York were children.

As such, the York CEO Sleepout aims to raise money for four causes trying to stem the tide locally: York City FC Foundation, Carecent, The Hygiene Bank and SASH.

One participant this year is Audrie Woodhouse. A voice, presentation and development coach, she’s raised thousands at previous sleepouts – experiences that have left her “humbled”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The current climate sadly means nobody is immune from being made homeless, and often the only difference is the support people have around them,” said Audrie.

“That’s why I’d urge everyone who can to volunteer and take part in this year’s sleepout.

“It isn’t easy – there was a point when I woke at 3am and all you could see were people staring into nothing. The concrete, cement and iron railings were cold and unwelcoming and it reminded me that this is the reality for people every night.

“So, it truly is a humbling experience, and you leave with a greater appreciation for what people endure, and a greater desire to do more to help.”

For more information, visit