Sustain UK’s experience could be key when addressing new Shelter figures on homelessness
Centrepoint, the youth homeless charity has projected that upward of 22,000 young people may be homeless, or at risk of being made homeless, across England this Christmas.
The charity sent freedom of information requests to all of the 326 councils across England, with a little over two thirds responding.
Under the Homelessness Reduction Act of 2017, councils must collect data on those who tell them that they are homeless. This means that, for the first time, reasonably accurate predictions of homelessness can be made over a particular period using this information.
This improved data collection and the predictions that follow it may well help the organisations that work to take people out of homelessness to assess the scale of the issue that they face, and to adapt accordingly, as well as highlighting the necessity of the work that they do to figures in government.
One of these organisations, Sustain UK, operates in Birmingham, and provides supported accommodation for over 2,500 vulnerable adults. Writing in her best practice article for The Parliamentary Review, CEO Pauline Hughes explained how ‘all individuals are given a minimum of three hours’ support per week’ as ‘a number of our tenants are socially isolated and so their support worker is a useful aid to help them reintegrate into society’.
Hughes believes that ‘vulnerable adults are entitled to live in a safe, clean and comfortable home’, and as such, the organisation seeks to provide arrangements that allow those involved to thrive. However, funding is always an issue, with many of the services that they work with being ‘underfunded and overstretched’, while some of the individuals they work with ‘do not have recourse to public funds’, leading the organisation to have to take the cost on themselves.
The highlighting of Shelter’s recent figures will be a step in the right direction for Hughes and her team when trying to achieve their aim of housing ‘as many homeless people as we can’ and letting their clients know that ‘there is a safe home out there for everyone’.