In 2019-20 we carried out an evaluation to look in more depth at the health and care needs of the people who live within our homeless pathway services.  

Analysis of a sample of over 200 service users suggests that close to 40% of people who have slept rough in London have chronic unaddressed health needs. A further 13% require care services because they are unable to self-care within a supported housing environment, but only a third of these needs are being adequately met. Health checks carried out by our Sport & Health Programme also revealed alarmingly high levels of health needs which were going untreated.   

This puts intense pressure on homelessness services but even more seriously, places some of the most vulnerable people in society at chronic risk of harm, including premature deaths from treatable conditions.  

Our experience echoes a significant existing body of evidence that indicates that services, whether they are targeting health, substance recovery, or mental health, need to be integrated and assertively delivered on an outreach basis if they are to have any real impact. 

This will require integrated commissioning, bringing together Adult Social Care, Health and Housing funding to ensure that primary health, substance treatment and care services are available on-site in homeless pathway services. 

Download the Executive Summary

Download the full report