Why do people become homeless?
There are a whole range of complex reasons why people become and subsequently remain homeless. Common factors include:
- relationship breakdown
- leaving home or care
- the death of a spouse or partner
- domestic violence
- leaving institutions (hospital, armed forces, prison)
- getting into debt, especially mortgage or rent arrears
This means that helping people out of homelessness is about far more than simply putting a roof over someone’s head.
What is homelessness?
You don’t have to be sleeping on a park bench to be classed as homeless. You may be legally classed as homeless if you are staying in a hostel, sleeping on a friend’s sofa, or suffering from overcrowding or other poor living conditions.
How many people are homeless?
The exact number of homeless people is very difficult to ascertain. People who sleep on friends’ sofas or in squats are often not known about. Even those who sleep rough are difficult to count as people bed down at different times, and tend to move around. Often figures that are used to describe levels of homelessness show the absolute minimum level of rough sleeping rather than the full extent of the problem.
The Society of St James and homelessness
Our homelessness services do not just give people a roof over their heads. We offer opportunities to address the issues which have led to individuals becoming homeless.
If you want to find out more about homelessness services in Southampton and across the UK, you might find the following sites useful:
If you have debt problems, then you can contact:
- Consumer Credit Counselling Service, a UK debt help charity offering free debt counselling, debt management and bankruptcy advice and help with budgeting. They provide an anonymous online debt counselling service – CCCS Debt Remedy – available all day, every day.
- The Sterling Trust, a UK debt charity formed to help people in financial difficulties to manage their unsecured debt themselves, completely free of charge.