Posted in homeless, motivation, practical support, Research, rough sleeping, street homelessness, support work, tagged engagement, homeless, practical, rough sleeper, rough sleeping, street homelessness, support work on May 12, 2011|
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In a recent survey conducted in day centres (http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/HiddenTruthAboutHomelessness_web.pdf ) 62% of the respondents stayed in a ‘hidden homeless’ setting the night before. That means they were rough sleeping, staying with friends or sleeping in squats. This snapshot data demonstrates that many of those who are homeless are not necessarily engaged with any formal services that are supporting them to address their situation.
It’s fantastic that a survey has picked up on this point. At Simon on the Streets we are working to address this point for those with the most complex support needs. We find that for some people it’s not just the case that they happen to be getting missed by mainstream support, but are often avoiding it due to their history and how they feel about ‘the state’, formal settings and ‘normal people/society’. Through street outreach work we specifically target this group and work hard to bridge the gap between them and the services that can meet their needs.
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According to some research conducted by CRESR/Crisis:
“Rough sleeping may be more prevalent, enduring and ‘invisible’ than we think. The majority of respondents had slept rough, often in ‘out of sight’ locations and with little contact with support services such as rough sleeper teams. Rough sleeping was not an emergency measure for a night or two until adequate shelter could be found. Rather, many respondents had endured sustained episodes of rough sleeping.”
I’ll post more info but you can see the full report at:
“The survey was conducted in day centres for homeless people in 11 towns and cities in England. These were London, Birmingham, Oxford, Stockport, Newcastle, Blackpool, Manchester, Southampton, Newton Abbot, Sheffield, and Brighton. The character of, and services offered by each day centre varied considerably, from small organisations with a handful of regular clients with whom they work closely to large drop-in centres serving food and offering other basic facilities such as showers and laundry to 200+ people a day.”
I was at our soup-run last night and spoke to three different people who all stated that they do not use day centres (one because he was banned the other two out of choice). So this research might well be missing data from some of the most vulnerable individuals!
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