The cost and competitiveness of the private housing market can be prohibitive for people. There have also been significant cuts to the social security budget and other public services that can prevent people from becoming homeless, such as mental health and addiction services.
Although this does not tell the whole story, what we do know is that there has been a rise in all forms of homelessness in recent years.
The Salvation Army has worked with people experiencing homelessness for over 150 years. In partnership with our Homelessness Services Unit, the Public Affairs Unit works to ensure that our services, including our Lifehouses (residential homelessness services), are able to offer a vital safety net to people who at that point in time, for whatever reason, are unable to access or maintain their own home.
In addition to providing people with housing, we aim to work with all the relevant stakeholders, including our service users, to ensure that our policy and advocacy work is person-centred and up-to-date, learning from new approaches in the addictions, mental health and criminal justice sectors.
We also work with both national and local government to influence public policy; advocating for a comprehensive approach to all forms of homelessness, which takes into account people’s individual circumstances and wider structural factors, including the current state of the housing market, as well as the needs of the local communities of which our service users are a part.
In doing so, we aim to ensure that homelessness continues to be recognised as an important social issue, which, if we all work together, can be avoided and resolved.
A few examples of these are...
- Read: Southampton MP visited The Booth Centre to see our work to tackle homelessness in the city.
- Read: Kris Hopkins MP visited Edward Alsop Court - one of our Lifehouses.
- Read: Deputy Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar MP praised William Hunter House in Glasgow.
- Watch: Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP spoke at The Salvation Army fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference on Homelessness in the age of austerity.
- Watch: Rushenara Ali MP's visit to Hopetown Lifehouse.
Find out more about our work with people experiencing homelessness here.