Homelessness - A hidden Emergency!
Homelessness is not limited to rough sleeping - in fact, the majority of homeless people are ‘hidden homeless’, sleeping on friends' floors and sofas, in bed and breakfasts or in supported accommodation such as hostels. Taking this into account, a December 2016 report by Shelter estimated that more than a quarter of a million people are homeless in England.
the majority of people we work with have been ‘single homeless’ – people who are homeless but do not meet the ‘priority need’ criteria to be housed by their local authority under the law.
As this status is largely reserved for families with children, many vulnerable people tend to fall through gaps in services, and can easily find themselves trapped in a cycle of exclusion and homelessness.
While the new Homelessness Reduction Act, passed in April 2017, will go some way to extending local authorities' duty of care to a wider group of people, it is likely that single homeless people will still be disadvantaged and will continue to struggle to access they support they need.
With homelessness on the rise and cuts affecting the most vulnerable, our work is more needed than ever.