Homelessness is caused by a range of structural and personal factors. Very often, we will hear people being blamed for becoming homeless but blaming someone for their experience of the housing emergency ignores the fact that so much more could be done by governments, organisations and individuals to provide suitable, stable accommodation that is affordable and easy to access.

The personal causes of homelessness are often made worse by factors beyond the control of the individual person. In our casework, we see that there is never just one thing that made a person homeless or puts people at risk of homelessness. Very often the signs that someone could become at risk of homelessness can be recognised at a very early stage and this is where you come in. We all have a part to play in the fight to end homelessness for good.


  • Job loss
  • Serious illness
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Domestic violence
  • Having been institutionalised (including serving in the armed forces or in prison)
  • Sexual or physical abuse (in childhood, adolescence, as adults)
  • Debt/financial problems
  • Poor physical or mental health
  • Having been in care
  • Drug or alcohol abuse


  • Recession
  • Cost of living
  • Welfare reforms
  • Access to healthcare
  • Lack of services or budget cuts in services
  • Lack of truly affordable accommodation
  • No new homes being built
  • War
  • The climate emergency
  • Disaster
  • Education

Listen to the audio for this lesson below.