UK Homeless Hubs
In the UK there are over 4,500 rough sleepers on any given night, a 15% rise from the previous year, with considerably more being homeless. The figures hit a record high in London, which accounts for 26% of the UK’s homeless and if no action is taken, these figures are expected to keep rising year on year. As said by James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, “No one should ever have to face a night on the streets, and as a government, we are taking steps to ensure people are never faced with this as their only option”.
As part of a £100m rough sleeping strategy and the government’s Rapid Rehousing Pathway, £4.8m will be dedicated to launch “Homeless Hubs” in 11 areas across England. These hubs will not only provide shelter to those in need, but also run rapid assessment centres by specialist outreach teams and offer support for issues such as mental health or substance abuse for these people, many of whom are vulnerable but cannot currently get the help they need to get back on their feet. It is estimated that these hubs will support 6,000 people by 2020. As described on gov.uk, “The hubs will play a vital role in identifying the issues that led to an individual sleeping on the streets in the first place and provide support to help them through things like a relationship breakdown, addiction or financial difficulties.”
When most people think about the homeless, they picture the men and women they walk past on the streets who are sleeping rough, however this only accounts for a relatively small proportion of the homeless people in the UK. The hubs will primarily help these people recover from life on the streets, however; homelessness also includes people that do not have a house of their own but are perhaps staying at a friend or family’s house, living in temporary accommodation or a hostel, or have no fixed abode. The hubs will provide services and support for these people as well.
The hubs will be called “Somewhere Safe to Stay” centres and will be up and running by spring 2019 with further centres to be opened in following years. The locations of the hubs are determined based on the highest levels of homelessness and rough sleepers and therefore will have the greatest impact. The 11 areas that the first Somewhere Safe to Stay centres will be launched are:
- Brighton & Hove
- Cheshire & Chester
- Nottingham City
- West London
Because of this initiative, thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable people will be able to get quality support and guidance to aid recovery from living on the streets, both in immediate care through providing shelter and more long-lasting aid with the specialist outreach workers.Back to articles