Homelessness is an ever increasing issue and is not only a housing problem.
There are many reasons people become homeless or vulnerably housed. Complex issues include family breakdowns, mental health problems, domestic violence, learning disabilities and many more.
Tens of thousands of individuals and families ask for help with homelessness every year. In recent months homelessness has clearly become more visible in our town and city streets.
Complex Needs - Mental & Physical
Clients who come to SmartMove face a wide range of different and complex problems. The majority report that they have either mental or physical health issues with many suffering anxiety or depression.
Other needs that we work with our partners to address include substance misuse and alcohol issues. Relationship breakdown and debt are major problems and, often with so many over lapping issues, access to help is often difficult. By creating support plans across all these areas, including housing, we aim to help everyone to sustain their tenancy and improve their chances of achieving their life style goals.
Deprivation, Prospects & Poverty
Homelessness is most prevalent in areas of high deprivation and often there are poor prospects for employment, training and education. Many of those who experience long spells of poverty can get into problem debt again making it harder for them to access housing.
What is Statutory Homelessness?
Only some homeless people are legally entitled to be housed by their local authority. The people that local authorities prioritise (in England, Scotland and Wales) are referred to as ‘statutory homeless’. To be classed as statutory homeless you have to be eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and fall within a ‘priority need’ group. The priority need groups include pregnant women, those with dependent children and people who are vulnerable in some way for reasons such as mental illness or physical disability. The people that meet this criteria are referred to as ‘acceptances’.
If you need more information about your legal rights, contact our Helpline.
How Do Clients Feel
Our clients often use 3 words to describe how they felt when first introduced to SmartMove.
They are: ISOLATED • SCARED • INVISIBLE
Our belief is that everyone has a basic right to housing. We therefore do not judge, we are determined to assist those vulnerable into housing and with them look to improve opportunities to enter into education, volunteering and employment.
The Wider Community
We believe that by involving the wider community, statutory, non-statutory and corporate partners we can help our clients on a journey to
no longer feel isolated, scared or invisible.