Homeless hit by benefit scheme - Sheffield study finds

A Sheffield Hallam University study into homelessness across Britain has concluded benefit sanctions are forcing people to sleep rough and go hungry.

The survey for homeless organisation Crisis says that the benefits system is hitting vulnerable people the hardest - and making it even harder for them to find work.

New research charts how the regime is leaving people homeless, hungry and destitute and hurting those who are already homeless, care leavers and those suffering from mental ill health – despite the fact that the vast majority do want to work and agree that benefits should come with conditions.

Drawing on a survey of more than 1000 people from homeless hostels in 21 cities, along with 42 in-depth interviews, the report provides detailed accounts of people being forced to sleep on the street, coping with severe hunger and going without heating in winter.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive, said: “Benefit sanctions are a major cause of homelessness. They’re hitting vulnerable people hardest and preventing them from finding work. Many will be trying to rebuild their lives or coping with trauma or illness. At times like this, losing the support of benefits can be disastrous.”