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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Portsmouth

National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 – Homelessness

Today’s theme is Homelessness. There are many reasons why people become homeless. There are social causes of homelessness, such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment; and life events which cause people to become homeless. They can become homeless when they leave prison, care or the army with no home to go to. Many homeless women have escaped a violent relationship. Life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse can also cause homelessness. Being homeless can, in turn, make many of these problems even harder to resolve. People facing homelessness have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and those who were already feeling financial pressures are also at risk of being pushed into homelessness without the right support. General Information Shelter National Homelessness Advice Service for the public Shelter’s National Homelessness Advice Service provides free expert advice, training and support to professionals working in local authorities, voluntary advice agencies and public authorities in England. They have also produced a number of factsheets for the those needing advice on housing and homelessness including the following and can be found on the NHAS website:

  • Homelessness

  • Finding accommodation and tenancy issues

  • Rent, benefits and money

  • Repairs & safety

  • Landlord seeking possession

  • Harassment & illegal eviction

How to ask for help from the council if you are homeless If you are homeless, face losing your home or are in urgent housing need, we can help you. Every Council must provide advice and information to anyone in their area, free of charge, on the prevention of homelessness, securing accommodation when homeless and any help that may be owed to them under the relevant legislation. In particular, this advice and information must meet the needs of certain groups of people that may be particularly at risk of homelessness, such as:

  • people released from prison or youth detention accommodation

  • care leavers

  • former members of the regular armed forces

  • victims of domestic abuse

  • people leaving hospital

  • those suffering from a mental illness or impairment

You can ask any council for help if you’re homeless now or facing homelessness within 8 weeks. This includes when you’ve received a section 21 notice. See more information on the Shelter website. Homeless Link – find homelessness services near you. Homeless Link are the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England. You can got to the Homeless Link website to find homelessness services, including accommodation near you. Two Saints Two Saints’ mission is to provide safe, flexible and reliable client led housing and support services that focus on reducing homelessness, improving health and wellbeing and building on individual’s skills and resilience across various locations in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton. For more information, please see the Two Saints website.

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