What is Homelessness?

At Helping Hands Portsmouth we truly believe there are 4 different types of homelessness.

The categories of homelessness we go by are detailed below.

1.) Homeless with temporary accommodation.

This includes hostels, hotels, homeless shelters, apartments with short leases, and staying in empty/ abandoned buildings.

2.) Hidden homeless

This is where someone is staying with friends or family and is usually temporary.

3.) Homeless @ home

This is where someone is living in overcrowded, inadequate housing that is shared with others. It usually lasts months or years until siblings move out.

4.) Roofless

This is the most basic form of homelessness. It includes people who live or sleep in doorways, railroads, bus stations, cars, sewers and on sidewalks. These people experiencing homelessness are sometimes referred to as streetwalkers, street sleepers or rough sleepers.


Causes of Homelessness

Why do people become homeless? There is no one single reason as to why somebody becomes homeless. It is normally a multitude of factors that play a role. Findings from unofficial research carried out by Helping Hands Portsmouth found that common reasons were family breakdown at a young age, and sometimes a step-parent being on the scene and not getting on with the person at a young age. PTSD and mental health issues were among some of the other reasons as well as addiction, prison and disability.

The BBC produced an online article about the stories of some homeless people that live in coastal towns and cities, just like Portsmouth. The link can be found here. BBC South Today also interviewed some of the regions homeless to give them a chance to tell their stories. The link can be found here.

One of our core values here at Helping Hands Portsmouth is that we treat every person we meet on the streets with respect, compassion and dignity. We understand that everyone’s story as to why they are living on the street is different.

The full article on causes of homelessness reported by Helping Hands Portsmouth can be found here.


Homelessness in the UK

Every year, the Department for Local Government, Community and Housing asks local authorities to assess the level of homelessness in the form of conducting a count of rough sleepers, those people experiencing Roofless homelessness.

The count has been an annual event since 2010 with a visible increasing trend in rough sleeping since the count was first initiated.

Portsmouth currently has a count of 42 rough sleepers on any given night in the Autumn period of 2017.

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