After watching the Queen’s Speech this morning, (and the internet cutting out!) I thought I would write my analysis on it, from a homeless awareness campaign point of view. There were two main announcements which peaked my interest: 1 million homes and mental health.
The Queen mentioned the Government intending to build 1 million more homes and giving better chances in life to people… But what does that really mean?
I take from that, that the Government just think building more homes is the answer to solve the homeless or housing issue… But it’s really not! Homelessness isn’t just about more homes – and arguably, people who lose their accommodation because of trauma, relationship breakdown etc. shouldn’t just be called ‘homeless’ – because a house isn’t the primary problem.
The issue of homelessness needs to be looked in a wider lense if the Government are serious about their commitment to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness. Cuts to support services and badly commissioned and inadequate services have a colossal negative effect on the homeless.
One positive was the proposal to bring in better mental health support for people inside the criminal justice system. Many homeless people either turn to crime when they become homeless, or have lost their accommodation due to crime in the first place. In a report by Homeless Link they found “17.5% of those with mental health issues and 16.7% with alcohol issues would like support but are not receiving it.” (out of 2,590 respondents). Now these aren’t necessarily in the criminal justice system – but does demonstrate the need for the homeless to receive better mental health support.
Mental health is something we all have, and it’s important to recognise the need for support when crisis point hits – however small the crisis. The Government is making steps towards this…
Although the Queen’s Speech on the whole was very thin on the ground and nothing was mentioned about homelessness specifically – I will be watching closely on Government announcements and policy agendas coming out in the next Parliamentary Session.
To feedback on the analysis, please leave a comment below or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.