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Being and becoming homeless in the UK

This publication is an executive overview of the most recent reviews and reports highlighting the growing homeless problem, its impact on the most vulnerable in a country of extreme inequality and diminishing social housing and social responsibility.


Leaving the Armed Forces in 2002 as a young person and volunteering with local homeless charities since have given a valuable insight into the provision, treatment and discussion of homeless people in the UK. Now after being homeless myself I felt compelled to write down a few key points highlighting the ‘Increasing’ homeless problem and its impact on the most vulnerable.

JH 2017 Hearts and Minds Media

Key Findings from Charity Crisis (2017)

Overall homelessness is increasing in England, and there has been a sharp upward trend in the most visible form of homelessness – rough sleeping. This  report presents the findings from a face-to-face survey with 458 homeless people who had experienced rough sleeping across England and Wales in the 12 months prior to the research taking place. The research was undertaken in response to the growing concern around the treatment and potential victimisation of people experiencing street homelessness. The findings below show the high levels of abuse and violence experienced by people we spoke to and the impact this has on their health and wellbeing. • The shocking scale of violence and abuse faced regularly by rough sleepers in England and Wales. Seventy-seven per cent (353) of survey respondents reported anti-social behaviour and/or crime against them in the past 12 months.

Health and care

Evidence shows that the health problems of homeless people in England are

considerable, and their life expectancy is well below the national average (Crisis,

2011). Health problems include physical trauma, skin problems, respiratory illness, mental ill-health, infections and drug/alcohol dependence (DH, 2010).

Homelessness is on the rise (Shelter Report, 2016)

Rough sleeping is increasing in England. On any one night in 2015, 3,569 people

were counted or estimated to be sleeping rough. This is a 30 per cent increase from

the previous year and double the levels since 2010.

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