Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeper Strategy

Understanding Homelessness

Individuals do not have to be living on the street to be homeless - even if they have a roof over their head they can still be without a home.

Whilst rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness and will be perceived by many as representative of homelessness generally, it in fact represents one of the smallest percentages of homelessness in Rotherham. The following housing circumstances are examples of homelessness:

  • Without a shelter of any kind (sleeping rough)
  • With a place to sleep but temporary (in institutions or a shelter)
  • Living in unsecure housing (threatened with severe exclusion due to insecure tenancies, eviction, domestic violence, or staying with family and friends - ‘sofa surfing’)
  • Living in inadequate housing (illegal campsites, in unfit housing, or in extreme overcrowding)

Local Authorities have a duty to take reasonable steps to help prevent homelessness up to 56 days before it happens.

People become homeless for lots of different reasons. There are social causes of homelessness, such as a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment, and life events which push people into homelessness. People are forced into homelessness when they leave prison, care or the armed forces with no home to go to. Many people experiencing homelessness have escaped a violent or abusive relationship. People also become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent or mortgage.