Monday, 4 October 2010

Why are there so few housing options for homeless couples?

Although a high proportion of rough sleepers are single men, there are times when, despite all the odds, people form relationships whilst on the streets. From experience, working with couples can be very challenging. It is the responsibility of an outreach worker to undertake an assessment for each individual and ensure each persons needs are fully understood. However, at no stage of the assessment process is the relationship status of an individual considered. A joint plan must be decided between the couple with regards to accommodation. This is all achievable until a search for hostels is undertaken and it becomes evident that there are only a handful of places in the country that take couples and when they do, there is never a guarantee that two beds are available on the same day.

Why are there so few hostels willing to accept couples? Is it the complicated nature of clients being in relationships, or is it all about housing benefits, bed spaces and allocations?

What are the other options for couples if there aren’t any suitable facilities in their area? Should homeless couples be forced to either sleep on the streets until they can access local authority housing (if they are entitled to it), or end their relationship?


  1. As far as i can see it, it's greed?
    I have noticed over the years that a lot of landlords prefer to take on single people mainly because there are more single people so they are easier to get in, and to get out. and a single person wouldn't use up much resources, so their bills are cheaper. I also think that the amount of couples that are homeless more recently than before so the insight into this new rise wasn't taken into consideration, so it will be a while before somebody realises what is going on, hopefully that will be soon with all the cuts going on. Homeless Bob

  2. hi yes agree with some comments bob,as someone who has been on streets with a partner,you wount belive some of the lies and deciets made to both of us by outreach workers,to try to split us up we each go into separate hostel..WHY its simple..get more benefits from us if apart..Might be charity outreachworkers,but charity for WHO! have a look at what some Homeless charity directors earn each year,read finanal year reports submiitted in their Annual Reports..eyewatering
    regards ex bullring

  3. What we want couples for,too much trouble.anything for a easy life,plenty outside waiting to come in....

  4. As an outreach worker, we can only work with what is available. We do not have the resources or powers to create more housing or manage hostel vacancies. I can only hope that the reason an outreach worker would offer separate accommodation for each person in the couple is that there were no other options available. Particularly, as so many hostels seem to be for men or women only.

  5. Outreach workers can and do work for the big charities,who also run many homeless hostels,in would appear part of the problem,not part of the solution....
    former bullring resident,life moves on.
    Charitys become corporate