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Have your say in House of Commons homelessness inquiry

edited 23 March 2016 at 12:04PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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edited 23 March 2016 at 12:04PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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Is homelessness increasing? A Committee of MPs (the Communities & Local Government Committee) recently launched an inquiry to examine the causes of homelessness, the steps to tackle homelessness, and how issues of social housing are having an impact on homelessness numbers.

It’s important to remember that homelessness is not just the people who sleep rough on the street, but those who get help from their council to find a home or others who cannot get a secure home and are in hostels, B&Bs or ‘sofa-surfing’ with friends and family.

As part of the inquiry, we’re keen to hear from people who have had direct experience of homelessness so that your views can feed into our investigations and help our work. We want to hear your views on the following questions:

  • What were the causes of your homelessness?
  • What support was available?
  • How effective was it?
  • What would have made a difference to your experience?
  • What changes should be made to reduce homelessness or to help homeless people find homes?

Comments should be posted in this forum thread by 11 April 2016.

If you prefer, you're welcome to respond directly to the Committee by the same date.

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
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  • edited 1 March 2016 at 1:45PM
    Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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    edited 1 March 2016 at 1:45PM
    Hi everyone

    Please share this if you know someone who could give the House of Commons some insight. Remember forum accounts are totally anonymous. There's no need to give any details that might give your identity away.

    Thank you!
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  • I was made homeless late December. Although I now have somewhere to live I thought you might be interested in the blog I wrote in real-time whilst pounding the streets trying to get a roof over my head. It's best to start at week one obviously. This forum won't let me post links but you can find the blog address on my Twitter page @homelessbrizzle.

    It was an extremely stressful time and hopefully this may give you a bit of insight.

    Thanks,k
  • What changes should be made to reduce homelessness or to help homeless people find homes? - More mental health funding to address massive gaps in the system which leave people without a safety net and can lead to homelessness.

    Affordable housing, more CMHT funding for councils, access to free prescriptions for those with chronic mental health issues, and for the government to stop making cuts to both the NHS and councils who provide front line services and care for vulnerable people.
  • pigpenpigpen Forumite
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    DomRavioli wrote: »
    What changes should be made to reduce homelessness or to help homeless people find homes? - More mental health funding to address massive gaps in the system which leave people without a safety net and can lead to homelessness.

    Affordable housing, more CMHT funding for councils, access to free prescriptions for those with chronic mental health issues, and for the government to stop making cuts to both the NHS and councils who provide front line services and care for vulnerable people.


    all these!!

    Support for those leaving care.. many are just left to fend for themselves and very vulnerable.

    Support for the staff who work in these MH teams.. I know many who have left due to their own mental health suffering, burnout from overloaded cases and inability to provide the things their clients really need!
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
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  • edited 22 March 2016 at 1:28PM
    MaccladMacclad Forumite
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    edited 22 March 2016 at 1:28PM
    There should be huge etablishments in key cities and towns, whereby they offer job finding help, temporary accommodation until the individual has found said job, have help creating CV's and do voluntary work for a temporary period to help improve the cv. This establishment should also offer rehabilitation help for people with drink, drug and gambling issues as these are some reasons people are homeless. They should offer a half way house for people who are expecting young mums and young people who have been kicked out of homes or are experiencing violence or problems at home and have the relevant help on site to keep that individual safe and have a stable place to stay. This should be funded by charities or from businesses in the area and stake holders, this will in the long run be beneficial to the local economy and the country. It will also offer help with those who need help and start to give back to the state when they are back in employment. If the individual goes back to their bad ways for whatever reason and they want rehab and help again by their own accord they should then be made to pay for their treatment by attatchments to earnings. This will bring down crime and antisocial behaviour in our communities. I had wrote something to manchester city council and this has been passed round the relevant council members and police commissioner and they think it's a good idea. It's trying to get funding for this to get it started. There should be people from local authorities and housing assosiation to sort out housing suitable for there needs and to see relevant medical health proffesionls to get advise and information to see how things can be put in place to best suit the individuals needs as well as seeing if they are suitable to have a house at that time. It will also help them have less worry walking round all over as this can be time consuming and can stop them being able to work due to stress, this process could be carried out throughout the rehab or during their temporary accommodation needs and they are then heading somewhere stable straight after and has be less chance to be caught up in the wrong crowd and feel alone again
  • GingernuttyGingernutty Forumite
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    Macclad wrote: »
    There should be huge establishments in key cities and towns, whereby they offer job finding help, temporary accommodation until the individual has found said job, have help creating CV's and do voluntary work for a temporary period to help improve the cv.

    This establishment should also offer rehabilitation help for people with drink, drug and gambling issues as these are some reasons people are homeless.

    They should offer a half way house for people who are expecting young mums and young people who have been kicked out of homes or are experiencing violence or problems at home and have the relevant help on site to keep that individual safe and have a stable place to stay.

    This should be funded by charities or from businesses in the area and stake holders, this will in the long run be beneficial to the local economy and the country.

    It will also offer help with those who need help and start to give back to the state when they are back in employment.

    If the individual goes back to their bad ways for whatever reason and they want rehab and help again by their own accord they should then be made to pay for their treatment by attachments to earnings.

    This will bring down crime and antisocial behaviour in our communities.

    I had wrote something to Manchester City Council and this has been passed round the relevant council members and police commissioner and they think it's a good idea. It's trying to get funding for this to get it started.

    There should be people from local authorities and housing association to sort out housing suitable for their needs and to see relevant medical health professionals to get advice and information to see how things can be put in place to best suit the individuals' needs as well as seeing if they are suitable to have a house at that time.

    It will also help them have less worry walking round all over as this can be time consuming and can stop them being able to work due to stress.

    This process could be carried out throughout the rehab or during their temporary accommodation needs and they are then heading somewhere stable straight after and has be less chance to be caught up in the wrong crowd and feel alone again

    HTH

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  • deannatroisdeannatrois Forumite
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    Less automatic gatekeeping by councils once evidence is provided of true vulnerability or homelessness risk. It works all too well.

    More protection when in a private rental situation. I will add to this later. LHA that actually meets private rents, don't fool yourself that it actually does cover the lower 30% of private rental costs. When I did a search of assorted areas.., there were hardly any areas where LHA actually covered private rent costs at any percentage. This leads to rent arrears and further homelessness.
  • I was homeless over 10 years ago. I was with an a abusive husband but we had no children and lived in rented accommodation. I left when he was at work but had no other place lined up and although i was working at the time i did not have enough money scrapped together for a deposit on rented accommodation. I put my name on the local council housing but I was not a priority as I had a job and no children. For 8 months I sofa surfed as you put it, my sister put me up for a few months but with 2 kids and a partner it was straining. I had proof I was battered but like I said as I had no kids and working the council did not really help. It is the most awful experience I have had in my 38 years. I had to sleep in a run down house with no bath or shower just a sink and toilet, there was no cooker but there was a kettle and I slept on the floor in the living room so I could sleep next to an old fire as there was no heating installed. I had to blag people to let me use the bath. Women are at the more vulnerable but unless you have children then you are side lined where I live. Luckily after 8 months I managed to save for a deposit, the first night in my own place was like heaven.
  • blm69blm69 Forumite
    3 posts
    I was homeless in my teens a couple of times.

    After moving to another town to find work, I could not find a job as I had no address and no address as I had no job, catch 22, so I slept rough for 4 months in a cardboard skip stealing milk from businesses doorsteps and eating out of date food out of supermarket bins. I found a place to rent eventually that took unemployed people and got a job working on a building site soon after. I always had the option of returning to my family home about 300 miles away but there wasn't much work. I think at the time I lacked the knowledge and experience of finding somewhere to live, the money for a deposit and finding any information to help(before google).

    Another time I fell out with my mum and moved out in the huff, I was young and foolish. Found a homeless hostel after a week or two that was for supporting homeless young people, the staff were good people who looked out for you and put me onto another homeless hostel that got you a council flat after staying there a year. I lived in the council flat for ten years before moving on.

    Life training would be a good thing for young people, more funding for homeless shelters with work experience and career building courses like IT computer skills, nvq level 2 courses, numeracy and literacy. And the information on how to find them.
    • What were the causes of your homelessness? Relationship breakdown & loosing job
    • What support was available? I was not aware of any, tried applying for housing but told there was no point as waiting list was full.
    • How effective was it? Obviously really unhelpful, they could have at least pointed me towards other kinds of help.
    • What would have made a difference to your experience? Some practical advice and support from people who had been there themselves (peer support maybe a charity group) somewhere safer to bed down temporarily.
    • What changes should be made to reduce homelessness or to help homeless people find homes? More opportunities to 'self-help', schemes and more peer led groups, safer places to crash temporarily (linked to support services). Make unused spaces available for campers at night (free parking 8-8 or 9-9) these could be warden controlled and have toilet facilities and maybe lockers close by. More accommodation linked to jobs and volunteering... like student accom linked to colleges. Better support aimed at helping people cope emotionally to reduce mental ill health. Acceptance of under 16s as being an issue, Similar support to vulnerable young homeless as there is now for Care Leavers. Cluster Schemes that offer alternative life styles for those that struggle in the mainstream, ex offenders. armed forces, hospital etc. More self-build schemes and rent to buy. Better rules accepting mobile, temporary 'tiny-house' & live-aboard living so those people can stay connected. Longer term commitment to charities working in partnerships with Local Authorities (not one year at a time) and more opportunities for them to develop schemes together (not dominated by politics and budget cuts).
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