Nightly Count of Rough Sleepers in Copenhagen

Sidste nyt

In week 6, it was the 1-year anniversary of SFI’s (the Danish National Centre for Social Research) national homeless count. A count that takes place every second year. As a supplement of these counts, it is a tradition that projekt UDENFOR carries out their own nightly counts of rough sleepers. We intend to do so again this year, and this year in cooperation with the City of Copenhagen.

”It is positive cooperating on these counts,” says Bibi Agger, professional leader and deputy manager of projekt UDENFOR ”In this way, we get to cover a larger area of the city as we are more people in the streets during the night and we obtain common knowledge of the vulnerable citizens who, for various reasons, are forced to sleep rough on the streets of Copenhagen” Bibi Agger concludes.

During the count that takes place in the hours between 1 am to 5 am a night in week 6, 14 staff members will be on the streets spread on seven routes. The routes have been thoroughly planned and drawn onto a map in order to ensure that as many different parts of the city where we know that the homeless are will be visited.

During the count, age, sex and nationality is estimated but we do not wake the homeless. We do, however, when carrying out nightly counts the years when we gather data for the SFI national homeless count, Bibi Agger states.

Steen Bo Pedersen, the manager of the City of Copenhagen’s homeless unit is also looking forward to the count. He emphasises that:

”The joint nightly count gives us a fresh update of the number of rough sleepers in Copenhagen and it is pivotal in view of the planning of offers and iniatives. Additionally, the joint project provides learning, both cultural and professionally and is completely in tune with the joint establishment, which the city council wishes to develop with the voluntary organisations.”

During the two nightly counts we carried out last years, we found 196 people sleeping rough in September 2015 and 40 in February 2015, respectively. In September, 22 staff members of projekt UDENFOR, the City of Copenhagen and the Municipality of Frederiksberg, resp. were on the streets at night. In February, 14 staff members of projekt UDENFOR and the City of Copenhagen participated in the nightly count.

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