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Law and rights

The law sets out what help people can get to deal with homelessness. But it can also exclude people from getting any help at all.

How can this be solved?

We are working with governments across Britain to make sure that by law every homeless person is entitled to get the help they need. We want people to be offered help, not criminalised for being homeless. This includes people who come here from overseas. We know that many homeless people have spent time in prison. Helping people into housing when they leave prison makes them less likely to commit more crimes.

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Real life stories

Read how the law and rights has an impact on people's lives.

'I got released from prison a week ago but I had nowhere to go because I had broken up with my girlfriend before I got arrested. I was on remand for five weeks and when it came to court I wasn’t sentenced but there wasn’t any advice about housing or anything like that. There was no help. They never said anything to me. They just let me out. I’ve been on the street ever since.'


'We travelled by train and gave money to people. I didn’t know where I was going. We spent 15 days in containers in the Jungle in Calais. When we arrived in the UK it was 3 am. I was scared and not sure if we finished the journey.'


'I’ve lived in this country for 22 years. I came from the US. I was married here, I have children, but now I’m happily divorced. I used to own my own business as a sole trader.'


Impact on homelessness

Our research examines the impact of legislation and interventions on homelessness.

Public spending would fall by

£370 million

if 40,000 people were prevented from experiencing one year of homelessness

Homelessness knowledge hub

Campaign

Our No one turned away campaign is calling for every homeless person who approaches their council to get the help they need.

Campaign successes

News

It is time to repeal the Vagrancy Act, yes. But if the answer was ever about whether to criminalise people, then we have been asking the wrong question. If we can see our way past labelling, grouping, dismissing, damning, pointlessly prosecuting and fining people, perhaps we can start answering the right question. What help and support do people need to realise their potential, and how quickly can we get it to everyone that needs it?


27/06/2019

The centuries-old Vagrancy Act, which makes rough sleeping and begging illegal in England and Wales, should be scrapped because it is needlessly pushing vulnerable people further from help, according to a new report from homelessness charity Crisis. The calls come as the Government today announces its review of the Act as part of its rough sleeping strategy.


19/06/2019

What you can do

Volunteer for Crisis

Volunteer your time to help us end homelessness.


Volunteer for Crisis
Campaign

Help us campaign for the changes we know are needed to end homelessness for good.


Campaign