Pathway, along with Crisis, and over sixty other organisations supporting people facing homelessness across the UK, have released a joint statement condemning UK Government plans to use rough sleeping as grounds for removing someone from the country.

Home Office guidance published last month outlines that the policy should only be used in cases where someone has refused or disengaged with support and is engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour or other criminal activity.

Everyone in our society should have a safe place to live and no one should be punished for experiencing homelessness. We know that housing is a social determinant of health and people experiencing homelessness face extreme health inequalities.

Without secure accommodation, people experiencing homelessness, particularly those sleeping rough, often end up using hospital emergency departments, rather than trying to access primary care, and they are in fact six times more likely to attend hospital than the general population, more likely to be admitted, and have longer average stays due to multiple and complex needs.

Clinical staff often witness the devastating consequences of homelessness, yet strive to provide the best patient care to the most extremely vulnerable and socially excluded. These new rules could deter people from seeking help when they most need it. We need to work together to solve the impact of homelessness, once and for all.

Read the joint statement here.