Homelessness is a huge problem in the UK and its growing. With the latest government cuts set to bite the services designed to help the most at risk of homelessness, almost all are convinced that we will see yet more people forced into temporary accommodation or onto the streets.
Exact numbers are hard to come by, but to give some idea of the scale of the problem, here are some numbers from the Crisis Website:
- 3,673 Rough sleepers on the streets of London (2009-10)
- 50,000 Beds in hostels in the UK
- 65,000 Households in temporary accommodation
- Hundreds of thousands of 'hidden homeless' in squats, refuges, B&Bs and on the floors and sofas of friends and family.
Frustratingly homelessness is not a problem that can be ‘solved’. It is a state in which people find themselves, a symptom of an array of problems from mental illness to drink and drug abuse and relationship breakdowns. As such there is a huge variation in need but no single solution.