Wednesday, 8 December 2010

How important is a local connection when finding accommodation for homeless clients?

Many hostels and accommodation providers around the country have waiting lists, as the services they provide are so much in demand. But many of these will have specific criteria when considering applications. One main factor is whether the individual has a local connection to the area. This is particularly the case with councils and Local authorities when assessing duty of care.
However, by prioritising those with a local connection we seem to be making it more difficult for people to travel around the country. The reasons for moving from one place to another can be as simple as freedom of choice, to be closer to family and friends, or to leave an old lifestyle behind.

Although I understand the need to deter people flocking to particular areas, it seems that we are denying them the right to choose where they live. If they are intent on moving to a specific area, they will be forced to sleep out in a new and unfamiliar environment.

Should hostels and accommodation providers be more open to those with local connections, or is it merely a way of preventing a flood of new comers, which could over burden particular areas and services?

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