Homelessness can feel like an abstract concept; something that only happens to other people. As such, there are a number of myths that have grown around the topic of homelessness and these myths are very often spoken as truths. This is incredibly damaging when it comes to us recognising that homelessness could happen to anyone and adds to the shame that we can feel if our housing situation becomes threatened. This can stop people asking for the help that they need to fight for and remain in a stable, secure home that is fit for their needs.
- People are homeless because they are all addicts
- Homeless people are dangerous
- It’s a choice
- Homeless people from other countries get all the houses
- Plenty of help but they choose not to take it
- Lazy and don’t want to work
- Substance abuse can be a cause but also a consequence
- 17 times more likely to be victim*
- Personal and structural factors cause homelessness*
- Wrong. Being homeless can negatively affect immigration status. Recourse to public funds is needed to access housing help. This can take years to get
- There is a lot of help but negative attitudes about homeless people from staff, bad conditions in hostels, some places with fewer services or beds and complex needs make getting help harder in many cases
- Just imagine trying to secure a job without an address, phone, email, bank account, suitable clothes or to keep a job when you have nowhere to sleep or wash or you can’t leave your tent or belongings because they might be confiscated by police
The video below was created by Shelter Cymru’s Take Notice project which is made up of people with lived experience of homelessness. The team were keen to explore some of the common myths around homelessness that had affected them.
Listen to the audio for this lesson below.