Health professionals should work with other services to help people recover and move on from homelessness. Health services also have a role to play in preventing people becoming homeless in the first place. Having a safe home reduces the risk of developing health conditions commonly experienced by people living on the streets.
In 2021, Crisis merged with Pathway, the leading homeless healthcare charity, in a bid to tackle the health inequalities impacting those who are homeless and ensure that the healthcare system plays its part in ending homelessness across Great Britain.
Our research into the impact homelessness has on physical and mental health.
of homeless people report having a physical health condition
in comparison with 37% of the general population.
Crisis has joined the Health Equals campaign to shape a new conversation about how the world around us, including our homes, shapes our health.
We are sometimes accused of wanting too much policy-change on homelessness. Civil servants especially, can find lists of principled demands exasperating when set against the realities and political limitations they face. Perhaps a good question to ask in the new year is whether there are policies, successes that can be built on?
It is time to repeal the Vagrancy Act, yes. But if the answer was ever about whether to criminalise people, then we have been asking the wrong question. If we can see our way past labelling, grouping, dismissing, damning, pointlessly prosecuting and fining people, perhaps we can start answering the right question. What help and support do people need to realise their potential, and how quickly can we get it to everyone that needs it?