In a recent survey conducted in day centres (http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/HiddenTruthAboutHomelessness_web.pdf ) 62% of the respondents stayed in a ‘hidden homeless’ setting the night before. That means they were rough sleeping, staying with friends or sleeping in squats. This snapshot data demonstrates that many of those who are homeless are not necessarily engaged with any formal services that are supporting them to address their situation.
It’s fantastic that a survey has picked up on this point. At Simon on the Streets we are working to address this point for those with the most complex support needs. We find that for some people it’s not just the case that they happen to be getting missed by mainstream support, but are often avoiding it due to their history and how they feel about ‘the state’, formal settings and ‘normal people/society’. Through street outreach work we specifically target this group and work hard to bridge the gap between them and the services that can meet their needs.