The Campbell Collaboration is a strategic partner with a new What Works centre in the UK having a mission to end homelessness faster by focusing on what works – by finding and funding solutions backed by evidence and data. Together they will be developing an evidence gap map. Learn more about the centre’s plans on their new website: homelessnessimpact.org, or sign up for their newsletter to receive updates about the work done as things progress. You can follow their new Twitter account @homelessimpact or on Linkedin.
In the U.K. - unlike in North America - they have a very wide legal definition of homelessness including not just street homeless people, but also single people in hostels and those in temporary accommodation, such as squatting, sofa surfing and living in overcrowded conditions. An article on BBC news calls homelessness in the UK a "national crisis" and a Public Accounts Committee reports more than 9,000 rough sleepers and some 78,000 families living in temporary accommodation. Cross-party research shows a shortage of housing options for homeless people and those at risk, and since the government is investing more than £1 billion on the problem there is a real need for the new Centre. The evidence gap map being undertaken will help researchers identify gaps where more research is needed, and can help policy makers find the evidence which is already available. The Campbell Collaboration has a systematic review with findings about "Interventions for promoting reintegration and reducing harmful behaviour and lifestyles in street-connected children and young people" which concludes, as many systematic reviews do, that more research is needed.
New federal data has revealed that the U.S. homeless population has increased for the first time since 2010. One of the biggest increases was seen in Los Angeles, with a 26% increase in just one year. Add this to the fact that only 25% of those homeless are living in actual shelters and it becomes clear of how big of a social problem this is becoming. National Homeless Person's Memorial Day is coming up on December 21st to raise awareness of this social justice issue and what is being done to help these vulnerable members of society.
For many social workers, homelessness is not only a social justice issue but is an important discussion for solving some of our society's largest problems. A visual resource created by Rutgers University illustrates a detailed look at the state of homelessness in America and how the principles of social justice are being used as a guide to combat the growing trend.