Settle's response to Government proposals on rough sleeping
As an organisation working to prevent youth homelessness, we join the sector in calling on the government to urgently reconsider proposals to criminalise the use of tents by people sleeping rough. If enacted, these laws will take away what little protection people have when sleeping on the streets and put their safety and lives at risk.
Rough sleeping is not a lifestyle choice and placing the blame on them will not fix the homelessness crisis. The government needs to focus on supporting those who are sleeping rough and preventing homelessness from happening in the first place.
At Settle, our vision is that no young person leaving care experiences homelessness. Our model is based on providing the right support at the right time to young people, particularly care-experienced young people, who face a cliff edge of support when moving into their first home. Therefore, we work as an early intervention model to prevent homelessness and our work sits within a larger ecosystem of organisations and models to prevent homelessness.
The Home Secretary’s comments come as we approach another concerning winter for young people, putting them at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The government’s own figures state that the number of care leavers aged 18 – 20 facing homelessness has increased by at least 33% since 2018. As the charity Become highlighted in its statement on this data, these statistics are just the “tip of the iceberg” for many care-experienced young people.
We strongly urge the government to reconsider these measures which will harm thousands of people who have no choice but to sleep on the street in a tent. Homelessness is not inevitable and there are proven models that prevent it. The government must invest in homelessness prevention, building more housing and other specialist programmes like Housing First that will end homelessness for good.