Foreword

It has long been assumed that there can be no single, ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the complex and challenging issue of modern homelessness. Whether this belief is accurate or not, it would be difficult to concur that traditional approaches are successfully achieving their aim. As I conclude this study at the close of 2017, Britain is facing a homelessness crisis which could be considered as heading towards epidemic stature.

In the year 2000, at the age of sixteen, I lived for ten months in a temporary accommodation unit for displaced teenagers. I became homeless as the result of a temporary and not uncommon crisis: The breakdown of my family unit.

I should be considered one of the lucky ones. I was immediately placed within a selfcontained, semi-supported living complex; a ‘halfway-house’ arrangement for young adults in similar positions to myself. I made friends and learnt how to maintain my home; saw counsellors and was encouraged to undertake life-skills training. Less than twelve months later, I held an independent tenancy and had obtained a fulfilling employment role; commencing my career in the field of supportive housing, I trained to assist individuals challenged by severe mental health issues to live more accomplished lives.

Over the years, I’ve often pondered what my fate may have been, had I not been received into such a gentle and nurturing environment at this testing time of my life. Today in 2017, it would be almost unheard of for a single homeless person to receive a similar standard of services and intensive, personalised care to that of myself in the year 2000. A person sleeping rough on the streets of my home city of Manchester today has startlingly limited options available to them if they want to start their life again. So, why is it that we are unable to respond homelessness appropriately in 21st Century Britain? Why is it that instances of homelessness are rising – and why is it that homelessness is being sustained?

Since 2013, I’ve worked independently to identify and explore economical solutions to the crisis of homelessness and housing instability for vulnerable groups, whilst concurrently campaigning against costly, inhumane, or ineffective techniques. In May 2016, I was delighted to be awarded a Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in partnership with the National Housing Federation. This afforded me the life-changing opportunity to connect with - and learn from - industry pioneers and leaders across the globe; allowing me to enhance my strategic designs to address homelessness with international influence and flare.

Reflecting my personal overview of the investigations I have undertaken, both as a practitioner in the United Kingdom, and as a researcher in the United States of America, this paper has been compiled to highlight obstacles, challenges, failures and successes, with the aim of educating, empowering and aligning homelessness responders, encouraging innovative service design and the free-exploration of 3 excellent, proven, or global best-practice techniques. Including the advisory points and professional recommendations I was invited to share with then-Labour Shadow Minister for Housing, Andy Slaughter, in UK Parliament on 7th March 2017, my ultimate goal is to inspire positive transformation to future delivery of British homelessness address services; at both a strategic and operational level.

The conclusion of this publication – and project - reveals the technical plans I have designed for immediate action and implementation, as well as a call on UK government to commission and support further international research study, pilot scheme investigation and practical application work which will promote a costeffective, efficient and compassionate resolution to homelessness, for diverse applicants across the United Kingdom, and potentially, beyond.


An International Research Project Supported by:

Varle Report

Copyright © by Amy.F.Varle, January 2018.
The moral right of the author has been asserted.

The views and opinions expressed in this report and its content are those of the author and not of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which has no responsibility or liability for any part of the report.
Cover image by Matthew Taylor, Manchester Street Photographer. With the greatest thanks.

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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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