What is homelessness and how many people are homeless?
Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.
After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. However, it is likely that homelessness will increase yet further, as the delayed effects of the economic downturn, cuts to housing benefit and other reforms all start to bite.
Homelessness: causes and consequences
People become and stay homeless for a whole range of complex and overlapping reasons and solving homelessness is about much more than putting a roof over people's heads. Many homeless people face a number of issues in addition to, but often compounded by, their homelessness. The isolation and destructive nature of homelessness means that homeless people find it difficult to access the help they need.