“I have moved 6 times since losing my home. I have had to prove that I can look after myself, and now I’m probably moving again. It makes me feel worthless.”
People felt dehumanised by the current system and often experienced severe anxiety due to having to move multiple times in a short period.
Hierarchical and pathway approaches to accommodation are still used today. This means people regularly have to ‘prove’ that they are ‘tenancy ready’ in order to progress to the next stage of accommodation, regardless of their skills or experience. People reported feeling humiliated and worthless; they expressed a desire to settle down, a place where they didn’t need to move after periods of time, somewhere they could make their own.
The psychological impact of multiple accommodation moves and having to ‘prove’ your worthiness in order to secure accommodation is significantly underestimated. There is growing research on the ‘Housing First’ models for the most entrenched rough sleepers which demonstrate more successful approaches to tackling long term homelessness.
Mayday believes that the current pathways and temporary housing provisions hide the reality of the housing crisis and can have a long term impact on the individuals resulting in high costs to health and other statutory services. A way forward would be to trial an alternative solution to supported housing, which will evidence cost savings as well as more positive outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.