We believe that listening to lived and frontline experiences of homelessness is crucial to addressing homelessness. So we gather insights from frontline staff across the UK who support people experiencing homelessness through our annual Frontline Worker Survey. This provides the most comprehensive overview of experiences on the frontline of the homelessness sector across all nations of the UK that is available to date.
1,182 frontline workers from across the United Kingdom took part in our Frontline Worker Survey over November and December 2022.
This report focuses on the barriers that frontline workers encounter – and how they can be overcome.
A snapshot of the findings
To address homelessness, we need to ensure the right resources are available. This means accessible, suitable accommodation as well as appropriate wider support where needed, particularly around healthcare
“I have been doing this job for 16 years and I would say the last 5 years I noticed a change in trying to find suitable accommodation. More recently it is near impossible to find any suitable accommodation for people. Private rented is too expensive or they don’t take [housing benefit].” – Frontline worker, Vale and Cardiff
We need to remove the barriers which stop people being able to access accommodation and support, to ensure services are inclusive of all people
“Appropriate support is difficult to find, services are always changing or disappearing. Information never seems to be up to date and, when it is, the waiting lists are long, or people never get back to me.” – Frontline worker, South West England
We need to improve policy and practice now to address and, crucially, prevent homelessness wherever possible
“[We need] Systems (Justice, Education, Council, Housing etc) being more human focused and less budget and cutting costs orientated. If they looked [at] the bigger picture and the long-term preventative benefits of investment rather than always funding / putting resources into ‘fighting fires’.” – Frontline worker, Tayside, Central and Fife