The number of people sleeping on the streets is at its highest since 2001. According to figures from random spot-checks carried out by Oxford city council, 17 people have been counted as sleeping rough in and around the city centre. These counts which were begun in 2001 showed that there were no more than ten people sleeping on the streets up until July 2003.

The rise in homeless figures has been attributed to the closure in 2004 of the Salvation Armys Outreach project which offered people a place for a shower and a cup.

Some say that surveys of this type are unreliable and do not represent the real number of people without a bed for the night as numbers are only based on people seen sleeping on the streets. The real number of homeless people, which includes those waiting for a council house and those ejected from homes, is thought to be much higher.