A homeless person sleeping on the street

There are many reasons why people become homeless. There are social causes of homelessness such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty, unemployment and life events which cause people to become homeless. They can become homeless when they leave prison, care or the armed forces with no home to go to. There is a link between homelessness and domestic abuse. Life events such as a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems or substance use 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 recent financial pressures and are also at risk of being pushed into homelessness without the right support. 

Homelessness - 4LSAB Housing Practitioner Briefing

The 4LSAB Housing Practitioner Briefing has been produced within the context of Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) recommendations which have highlighted the complexities of achieving effective engagement between professionals and people experiencing homelessness, where care and support needs may be present.

It is aimed at raising awareness of the responsibilities of local housing authorities (district housing departments in Hampshire and the housing departments of the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, and Southampton unitary authorities) and social housing providers (often referred to as housing associations or Registered Providers of Social Housing) in the context of preventing and relieving homelessness. This briefing focuses on how partnerships can work together to reduce the risks for homeless people with a safeguarding need. This briefing should be used in conjunction with your own organisation’s policies and procedures as well as the 4LSAB Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policy.

Adult safeguarding and homelessness: a briefing on positive practice

The purpose of the adult safeguarding and homelessness: a briefing on positive practice from the Local Government Association is to assist senior leaders, such as members of Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs), as well as commissioners, practitioners and operational managers who are working across relevant sectors and agencies in this field, to support people who are homeless and at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect. This briefing includes learning from Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs).

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, the Council 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 who might 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.

Help from Southampton City Council

Other support and resources

  • Homeless Link - the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England. Visit 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 which 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.
  • 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

If you’re worried about a rough sleeper, please contact the Street Homeless Prevention Team on 023 8083 2343 or via email at streethomeless@southampton.gov.uk