MORE than 700 people in Dorset are facing Christmas homeless - in temporary accommodation or on the streets

New research from homeless charity Shelter has revealed that there are approximately 742 people without a home for various reasons.

Out of these people, as of June 30, 2023, it is estimated that 713 are living in temporary accommodation arranged by the council, whilst it is estimated that 11 people are living in temporary accommodation arranged by themselves or homeless at home.

Around 18 of the homeless people in Dorset are living on the streets at any given night.

In perspective, at least 12,500 people in the South West will spend Christmas without a home, including more than 5,300 children which is a drastic increase of 20 per cent in just one year.

Across the 10 counties analysed in the South West, Dorset ranked fifth, whilst Bristol was found to have the highest number of people without a home, with 3,200 people homeless.

Councils have a legal duty to house families and people who are vulnerable, but the acute shortage of affordable homes means they are having to rely on temporary accommodation for long periods.

The growing emergency is leaving families stuck for months in hostels, B&Bs and cramped bedsits, and they often have to share beds with no, or inadequate, cooking and laundry facilities.

People not entitled to accommodation may end up on the streets, sofa-surfing or in dangerous living conditions.

Stuart Francis-Dubois, one of the Service Leads at Shelter, said: “Homelessness is on nobody’s Christmas list, but 12,500 people in the South West will spend this time of year in a tiny hostel room or freezing in a doorway.

“The housing emergency is out of control. Chronic underinvestment in social homes has left people unable to afford skyrocketing private rents and plunged record numbers into homelessness. It is appalling that the government has allowed thousands of families to be packed into damp and dirty B&B’s and hostel rooms, which are traumatising children and making people desperately ill. 

“Until the government takes this emergency seriously, our frontline services will do everything they can to help people keep or find a safe home this winter. It is only with the public’s support that we can continue to provide vital advice and support and fight for the solutions people want and need to end homelessness.”

To donate to Shelter’s Urgent Appeal, visit