We are working with governments across Britain to make sure that by law every homeless person is entitled to get the help they need. We want people to be offered help, not criminalised for being homeless. This includes people who come here from overseas. We know that many homeless people have spent time in prison. Helping people into housing when they leave prison makes them less likely to commit more crimes.
Our research examines the impact of legislation and interventions on homelessness.
Public spending would fall by
if 40,000 people were prevented from experiencing one year of homelessness
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?