‘Overlap’ between homelessness, criminal convictions and substance misuse

  • Recent research has shown the large ‘overlap' between homelessness, criminal convictions and drug use.

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    It was found that 58,000 people per year have access to institutions which deal with all three, Inside Housing reports. 

    Researchers at Heriot-Watt University gathered data from criminal justice, substance misuse and homelessness services. They wanted to see to how each system dealt with people from each of these three categories.  

    The report stated that those who are in aid of homelessness services are often ‘contending with almost unimaginable combinations of personal challenge'.

    It also explained, ‘It appears to be in the realms of very difficult family relationships and very poor educational experience that we can find the most important early roots of severe and multiple disadvantage, with 85% of people experiencing adverse traumatic experiences in childhood.

    ‘The extent of the overlap calls into question the legacy of separate systems and structures inherited from the last century.'

    The report called for ‘collective, innovative and systemic' action in relation to the issues being dealt with by vulnerable people.

    It also called for better data and intervention strategies and a greater focus on building social and family support networks for the people affected. 

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