Causes of homelessness
Many of the people we see have mental or physical health problems, or have issues with drug or alcohol use. Sometimes people face a complex mix of these factors, on top of more difficult family backgrounds than most. Many people who become homeless had traumatic experiences during childhood. Sometimes it was sexual or physical abuse, other times it was an unstable environment, such as moving between foster homes. For some people, these experiences put them at risk from an early age. In fact, some people we work with say that their early experiences led them to become dependent on drugs or alcohol while still in their teens.
Research that we carried out in 2013 showed that 43% of people who slept rough for the first time had problems with alcohol or drug use. For some people that was a contributing factor to them becoming homeless; for others, it was a symptom of trying to cope with other problems that they faced.