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What is homelessness?

Homelessness means not having a home – but most people who are homeless don’t sleep on the street.

The majority (but not all) of the people who experience a housing crisis have a roof over their heads at night, but they are still homeless. They include people:

  • living with friends and family
  • staying in a night shelter or a bed and breakfast
  • living in unsafe or unsuitable accommodation.

Click here for more information about rough sleeping.

Who becomes homeless?

All sorts of people can become homeless. Even people like you. They are not “The Homeless” and should not be viewed as a single group. They are individuals experiencing varying crises relating to their housing.

Some people are easy to help; others are very hard to help. The only certainty for our staff is that every person they help will have a different story to tell.

Common reasons people seek our help include:

  • being evicted by their landlord or having their tenancy ended
  • a breakdown in a relationship
  • financial crisis
  • being a victim of domestic abuse
  • mental and physical ill-health
  • substance abuse
  • leaving prison or the care system.

Very often people can be experiencing several of these challenges at the same time,  making them harder to house and harder to help.

What help is there?

This really depends on people’s individual circumstances. Local councils have a legal duty to help people who affected by homeless – but not everybody is entitled to help with their housing.

Homelessness applications are judged according to a strict set or criteria and some people don’t qualify for help.

Where there are complicating factors – like substance abuse and mental illness – people may be referred onto providers of specialist accommodation like Framework.

Learn more about how your council makes these decisions.

If you are concerned about losing your home please seek support as soon as possible.

Get help