December 16 was Paul Williams’ final night sleeping rough on Birmingham’s streets.
When he bedded down outside a Wagamama restaurant beside the city’s Bullring shopping centre, temperatures plummeted to below freezing. He never woke up.
Williams was 38. He is just one of hundreds of homeless people who have died on the streets, a number that has more than doubled in the last five years.
The latest figures, analysed by the Guardian newspaper, revealed that in 2013, 31 people died on the streets. In 2017, that number had risen to 70. At least 230 people died over that period.
Less than a week before he died, Williams had found a room, but he only spent two nights sleeping there before leaving to join his friend, Alan, back on the streets, because he didn’t want to leave him alone.
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