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WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK Migration, Homelessness and Destitution in England Helen Mathie, Policy Manager HOMELESS LINK February 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK Migration, Homelessness and Destitution in England Helen Mathie, Policy Manager HOMELESS LINK February 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Migration, Homelessness and Destitution in England Helen Mathie, Policy Manager HOMELESS LINK February 2012

2 WHO WE ARE Homeless Link is the national membership body for agencies working with homeless people 530 member agencies Key aim of ending homelessness Policy change Improving practice Today: discuss background and responses from perspective of our members

3 ROUGH SLEEPERS FROM “A10” COUNTRIES LONDON

4 THE CURRENT SITUATION 2010/11 rough sleepers in London (3975)

5 POOR PREPARATION FOR UK Advice in countries of origin is minimal; 21% received accommodation advice and 10% employment advice prior to arrival LACK OF SECURE EMPLOYMENT Trafficking– anecdotally this is increasing Majority (75%) have worked in the UK at some point. However employment is insecure (cash in hand; seasonal; unregistered). LACK OF ACCESS TO ‘USUAL’ ACCOMMODATION SUPPORT NEEDS WHY PEOPLE END UP ON THE STREETS

6 A ‘typical’ journey Becomes homeless Different streams of funding: Primarily Housing Benefit and government funding (Supporting People) positive Outcome Accommodation Employment Training Reconnection? Outreach service Day Centres h_negative outcome: eg return to streets, prison Wider support (Eligible?) Support for Jobs Alcohol or drug services Health Services Eligible?

7 WHICH SERVICES DO CEE CLIENTS USE? In a day centre, 20% clients from CEE backgrounds In a hostel, on 6% clients from CEE background Only 8% services provide specialist services to CEE clients CHALLENGES Reluctance of some clients to engage (eg in squats) Access to accommodation Language skills of staff Employment options Reductions in funding overall (22%)

8 END OF THE TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: WHAT NOW? Transitional arrangements ended April 2011 (for A8s) From May 2011 requirement to pass Habitual Residency Test to get state benefits. How does this work? Mixed experiences: Some lack required information. Takes too long. However, some have passed HRT

9 RESPONSES ADVICE ABOUT ENTITLEMENTS HELP WITH HOUSING & JOBS Targeted employment advice and support Specialist accommodation projects Working with DWP and Job Centre Plus Native speakers as staff and volunteers PREVENTION WORK Helping prepare people better: working with FCOs

10 RESPONSES RECONNECTION Assisting safe return and supporting clients into services Reconnection undertaken by range of agencies ‘Routes Home’ portal provides advice and good practice People can return when better prepared for work and life in UK Voluntary scheme. Not appropriate for all, but can be best option for some individuals to avoid destitution.

11 RESPONSES ‘NO SECOND NIGHT OUT’ pilot in London: Aimed to quickly assess and help new rough sleepers off the street 31% reconnections in 6 month period are to countries outside UK 69% rough sleepers from EEA countries were reconnected Examples Portuguese man with severe mental health issues returned and accommodated by social services in hometown Former Polish teacher walked 40 miles to NSNO hub after failing to find work. Reconnected to stay with friends in Poland Pregnant Romanian client supported to return to family.

12 WHAT ACTION IS NEEDED? IN EUROPE: Home Countries play greater role in preparing individuals Tackling illegal gangmasters and traffickers Co-ordinated EU response to prevent destitution (advice & financial resources) IN THE UK: More action to prevent illegal work Pressure to keep on government agenda Reconnection offered where appropriate to prevent destitution More work with Job Centre Plus to offer employment services

13 CONTACT Examples of services: More information:


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