About Homelessness

What causes homelessness?

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Anyone can be affected by homelessness. Relationship breakdowns, loss of employment and ill health are all common reasons why someone can become homeless, but there are many others.

People 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. Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford their rent.

A breakdown in relationships, mental and physical health problems, unemployment, and substance misuse can be the trigger. 

  • 68% of the homeless adults in our services stated they had issues with their mental health
  • 79% of homeless people moving into our homes stated that they were in debt 
  • 69% of homeless adults moving into our service stated they needed help with their wellbeing
  • 71% of homeless adults moving into our services stated they had substance abuse problems

What is the scale of homelessness?

There is no national figure for how many people are homeless across the UK. This is because homelessness is recorded differently in each nation, and because many homeless people do not show up in official statistics at all.

Homelessness in the UK has increased by 165% since 2010.*1 Rough sleeping is forecast to rise by 76% in the next decade unless the government takes action to tackle it.*2 

There are 160,000 homeless households in Britain.*2

For every one person sleeping rough on the street, there is another living in a car or a tent. Research suggests theat 12,300 people are sleeping rough and a similar number of people (12,000) are living in cars, tents or public transport - double the amount compared to 2012*3

More than one homeless person dies every day in Britain.*4

*1 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government *2 Crisis by Heriot-Watt University 2017 *3 Statistics Crisis 2018 *4 Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Types of homelessness

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1. Rough sleeping

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness but is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Research suggests there are 12,300 people are sleeping rough. (Crisis 2018)

Click here to find out more about how you can help rough sleepers this winter.

2. Statutory homelessness

Local authorities have a duty to secure a home for some groups of people. Every year, tens of thousands of people apply to their local authority for homelessness assistance. 

Research suggests that 84,740 households live in temporary accommodation. (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 2019).

3. Hidden homelessness

Many people who are not entitled to help with housing, or who don’t even approach their councils for help, aren’t counted in the official statistics. Many are sofa-surfing, living in hostels or overcrowded accommodation.

4. Those at risk of homelessness

There are 218 council areas where local families earning a low wage would be forced to spend more than 30% of their salary on rent. In 112 of these (35% of areas) this rises to more than 40%. (Shelter 2019). Some people at risk of homelessness also live in unsuitable housing.

What we are doing

Alabaré’s teams are working hard to provide shelter and support to over 337 homeless and vulnerable people across our 55 homes, Drop In Centres and crisis support services. 

Click here to see how we are supporting homeless and vulnerable people this winter.

What you can do

Whether you're looking to donate your time or make a financial gift, there are a number of ways you can make a difference to homeless people this winter and all year round. 

Click here for more ways to help homeless and vulnerable people this Winter.