Giving rough sleepers a permanent home before they receive treatment for issues such as alcohol and drug abuse could help end rough sleeping, a new report has argued.
The report, published by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) on behalf of Crisis, is calling for the adoption of a national ‘Housing First’ programme.
Housing First would give the most vulnerable rough sleepers their own home and support from specially trained staff. The charity says that while this would not tackle the underlying causes of homelessness, it would help people leave homelessness behind them for good.
Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said: ‘This report could represent a major turning point in our approach to ending homelessness in England.
'Housing First is based on the simple yet powerful concept that the best way to tackle homelessness is to provide people with accommodation of their own. This sounds obvious yet it is often the opposite to the way rough sleepers and long term homeless people are treated.
‘The evidence base for Housing First is very strong. If it works in Ireland, Finland, Canada, the USA and beyond, then it can work here too. It is time for the Government to act.’
Crisis warned that rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence, and nine times more likely to end their own life.