What is Homelessness?

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What is Homelessness?

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You may be homeless if you’re sleeping rough, Sofa surfing don’t have rights to stay where you are or you live in unsuitable housing. Even if you have a roof over your head you can still be homeless.

What situations mean you are homeless?

You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be classed as homeless. You might also be legally homeless if you are:

  • Temporarily staying with friends or family
  • Staying in a hostel or bed and breakfast
  • Living in very overcrowdedconditions
  • At risk of violence or abusein your home
  • Living in poor conditions that affect your health
  • Living somewhere that you have no legal right to stay in (eg. a squat)
  • Living somewhere that you cannot afford to pay for without depriving yourself of basic essentials
  • Forced to live apart from your family, or someone you would normally live with, because your accommodation is not suitable.


Who can be homeless?

Anyone can be homeless. However, some groups of people are more vulnerable to homelessness because they have fewer rights, particular needs or are less able to cope by themselves. These include:

  • Young peopleleaving home for the first time
  • Old people
  • Pregnant women
  • People with children
  • People with physical or mental health problems
  • People on benefits or low incomes
  • People leaving care
  • Ex-prisoners
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • People affected by an emergency such as flood or fire.


How do people become homeless?

You could become homeless for many different reasons. These could include:

  • Being evicted by your landlord
  • Losing your job
  • Health problems
  • Relationship problems
  • A disaster such as fire or flooding.


How can an adviser help?

If you are homeless, or worried about becoming homeless, you should get advice as early as you can. An adviser might be able to help you find a way to stay in your home, find a new home more quickly or get in touch with your local council. If you are street homeless (Without a roof over your head) contact the local county council to see whether they can find you temporary accommodation while you search for a suitable property.