Homeless women being failed across the country
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities
Housing association awarded nearly £100,000 to prevent homelessness
Ministers have been told that homeless women are being failed at both the local and national levels across the UK.
Charity St Mungo’s Broadway yesterday presented findings from its recent Rebuilding Shattered Lives report to the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness.
According to the report, homeless women are among the most traumatised and marginalised people in society.
More than 10,000 women were in homelessness services in the UK last year, and many more are ‘hidden homeless'.
The report highlights problems such as separation from children, mental and physical ill health, prison sentences, drug and alcohol use and involvement in prostitution. These problems often stem from trauma following violence and abuse, the report says.
Bringing together more than 200 contributions from charities, academics and homeless women themselves, The Rebuilding Shattered Lives report sets out the issues, good practice and ten recommendations.
Howard Sinclair, St Mungo's Broadway chief executive, said: "There are multiple and complex reasons why women become homeless so it’s important to share the findings of our report with ministers from right across government.
“There is much good practice out there, but as this report shows, we also need new approaches. We have to get this right and we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate to ministers that national government has a crucial role to play.
“We are disappointed that the Minister for Women was not at the meeting. She has an important role in holding her colleagues from across government to account for considering the needs of homeless women. We hope that ministers will recognise our recommendation that she be added as a member of the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness to ensure that it expressly considers women's homelessness.”
The Cross Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness was set up in 2010 in recognition of the complex issue of homelessness, bringing together all the relevant government departments: Communities and Local Government; Work & Pensions; Education; Business, Innovation and Skills; Health; Justice; Defence; Education and The Home Office.