What is homelessness?
Homelessness is not having a permanent and safe place to live. Being street homeless is the very worst situation anyone can find themselves in, but you don’t have to be living on the streets to be classed as homeless. There are hundreds of people in our community who are staying in hostels, sofa-surfing or living in overcrowded, poor quality accommodation that is not their permanent home.
How many people are homeless?
It is impossible to accurately count the number of people who are homeless, but there are thousands of people who are currently experiencing homelessness, not just in the UK but across the world. The number of people finding themselves in this situation is increasing every day and services are struggling to cope with the demand.
Reasons people become homeless
There is no single cause of homelessness but people do not become homeless deliberately - there are many complex reasons why people become homeless, and why many subsequently remain homeless, facing a very uncertain future.
Simon had to leave his family home after his relationship with his mum broke because he and his mum’s new partner didn’t get along. At just 18 years old and without employment, Simon found himself unable to afford his own home.
Mental health problems
Many people who ask us for help have mental health problems that they have not been able to get help with and this in turn has left them unable to cope with their daily lives and unable to sustain their accommodation.
People experiencing domestic abuse often stay in abusive and violent relationships because they have nowhere else to go. When the situation becomes intolerable their only option is to flee and often people end upon the streets
Lisa became homeless after her increasing dependence on Heroin meant that she was no longer able to remain in her job. Her addiction took over her life and she was unable to sustain her job or her home.