Homelessness

Thursday 18th November 2021

National Safeguarding Week

There are many reasons why people become homeless.  There are social causes of homelessness such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty, unemployment and life events which cause people to become homeless.  They can become  homeless when they leave prison, care or the army with no home to go to.  Many homeless women have escaped a violent relationship.   Life events such as a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems or substance misuse can also cause homelessness.  Being homeless can, in turn, make many of these problems even harder to resolve.  People facing homelessness have been hit especially hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and those who were already feeling financial pressures are also at risk of being pushed into homelessness without the right support.

We’re using today as an opportunity to share good practice guidance and local pathways.

General Information

Shelter National Homelessness Advice Service for the public

Shelter’s National Homelessness Advice Service  provides free expert advice, training and support to professionals working in local authorities, voluntary advice agencies and public authorities in England.  They have also produced a number of factsheets for the those needing advice on housing and homelessness; these can be found on the NHAS website:

  • Homelessness
  • Finding accommodation and tenancy issues
  • Rent, benefits and money
  • Repairs and safety
  • Landlord seeking possession
  • Harassment and illegal eviction
How to ask for help from the council if you are homeless

If you are homeless, face losing your home or are in urgent housing need, we can help you.  Every Council must provide advice and information to anyone in their area, free of charge, on the prevention of homelessness, securing accommodation when homeless and any help that may be owed to them under the relevant legislation.  In particular, this advice and information must meet the needs of certain groups of people who might be particularly at risk of homelessness, such as:

  • people released from prison or youth detention accommodation
  • care leavers
  • former members of the regular armed forces
  • victims of domestic abuse
  • people leaving hospital
  • those suffering from a mental illness or impairment

You can ask any Council for help if you’re homeless now or facing homelessness within 8 weeks.  This includes when you’ve received a Section 21 notice.   See more information on  the Shelter website.

Southampton City Council
Homeless Link – find homelessness services near you.

Homeless Link are the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England.  Visit the Homeless Link website to find homelessness services including accommodation near you.

Two Saints

Two Saints’ mission is to provide safe, flexible and reliable client-led housing and support services which focus on reducing homelessness, improving health and wellbeing and building on individual’s skills and resilience across various locations in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.  For more information, please visit the Two Saints website.

Information for Professionals

Adult safeguarding and homelessness: a briefing on positive practice

The purpose of this briefing from the Local Government Association is to assist senior leaders, such as members of Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) as well as commissioners, practitioners and operational managers who are working across relevant sectors and agencies in this field to support people who are homeless and at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect.  The Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness Briefing includes learning from Safeguarding Adult Review (SARs).

Rethinking Rough Sleeping in the Pandemic

This open access article from RiP (Research in Practice) talks about homelessness in the light of the pandemic and lists 4 key recommendations and examples of new challenges relating to Covid-19:

  • Working together locally towards systems and culture change to support joined-up working across teams
  • Ensuring people with care and support needs are at the centre of decision-making
  • Ensuring practitioners are informed and supported
  • Raising public awareness of the issue of rough sleeping and challenging bias
National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS)

The NHAS provide free specialist support and training to local authorities, voluntary agencies and public authorities.  Its programme of training is designed in response to the latest developments in housing and homelessness and is aimed at frontline staff who work with people who are dealing with housing or homelessness-related issues.

Factsheets are available to be used by members of the public and professionals.  Each factsheet aims to give a general overview of a particular housing or welfare subject, covering Benefit Cap, Bedroom Tax, Housing benefit (under 35s), Tenancy deposit schemes, illegal eviction and more.  Find more information on the NHAS website.

Shelter’s National Homeless Advice Service

Shelter’s National Homelessness Advice Service  provides free expert advice, training and support to professionals working in local authorities, voluntary advice agencies and public authorities in England.

Funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and delivered by Shelter, their team is available to help professionals and voluntary sector agencies deal with a wide range of issues which can have an impact on an individual’s housing situation, delivered in a way that is tailored to your level of knowledge and that can be practically applied in your role.

They offer a series of free 90-minute webinars via Zoom on subjects such as Casework Skills, Good practice, Introduction to Welfare Benefits, Dealing with Landlord Harassment and Unlawful Eviction, Suspending a warrant and Recognising Coercive Control.