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He was a prolific shoplifter with a record of 57 prison stays, the main reason behind this being his addiction to crack, heroin and alcohol.

Due to his time on the streets and his substance use he was also very physically unwell, but refused offers of treatment. For most of his time on the streets he did not have a benefit claim running and relied on handouts and the proceeds from his shoplifting to supply all his needs.

Outreach teams persistently offered him support and, one morning, after a particularly cold night, he finally agreed to use a severe weather emergency bed. This began a line of communication and relationship building that led to him making a successful benefits claim and being housed in Arlington House in April 2014.

Due to his long time on the streets Peter found it very hard to settle and just two weeks after he moved in to the hostel he was evicted for threatening behaviour. However he had managed to access support around his drug use, was on a methadone prescription for the first time and had stopped using drugs. His alcohol consumption had increased however and was a contributing factor in his deteriorating behaviour.

He returned to a hostel, after a short spell on the street, this time Endsleigh Garden. He lasted three months before again being evicted, this time for violence.

Questions for report:

  1. What are the main issues faced by Peter?
  2. How would you prioritise them?
  3. What options does Peter have regarding his homeless status?
  4. Outline the policy and legislation that you would refer to when giving advice to Peter.
  5. What capacity does Peter have to make decisions about himself?
  6. If you could, what approach would youtake to supporting Peter and people in his situation?

Peter's Problems

Peter is facing significant problems even after availing help from the homelessness support groups. His time in the streets as a homeless person had made it very difficult for him to adjust and live in a social community. His history of shoplifting and prison stays had also made him a potential threat to the other people who were living in the hostels. Despite being continuously approached by the outreach teams, he kept on denying to take help from them, claiming that he was happy as he was (Bramley and Fitzpatrick 2018). This may have happened because of his prolonged habit of staying alone on the streets. Even after he was placed in a housing place, he was continuing to face troubles because of various reasons. After being relocated to Arlington House in 2014, he was evicted just after two weeks because of threatening behaviour. Even after that he was housed in Endsleigh Garden, but was evicted again for display of violence.

The problem that Peter may be facing is his incapability to adjust to a life where he is supposed to live among, and with, other people within an established social structure. His drug addiction made him develop a habit of shoplifting and theft that may make other people around him to feel threatened and insecure. Even though he was on a methadone prescription and had finally stopped using drugs, he consecutively developed a habit of alcohol consumption and this one of the most major contributors of his deteriorating behavioural tendencies (Schmidt et al. 2017). It must be remembered that even though he did seek help from the outreach teams, he only did so after he was forced to, after a night so cold that he could not endure to be alone on the streets anymore and availed the benefits of a severe weather emergency bed. This makes him apprehensive towards the help that is provided by the support groups to begin with. This initial attitude towards the outreach groups at the beginning can affect his later views and attitude towards the help.

The biggest problem that Peter has right now is his homelessness. The outreach groups are trying desperately to make sure so that he has a place to live in and not on the streets anymore. Then his drug problem is another persistent issue which has to be dealt with as soon as possible and he needs to be taken off the drugs. This would also help the support to groups to assist him with other issues, most notably his financial condition. Peter’s shoplifting behaviours need to be treated as well so that he does not have to go back to prison at all. His behavioural problems that is displayed towards the others also need to be taken care of, which would help him to keep on staying at the hostel where he is housed and not be evicted for problematic behaviour (Stephens 2017).

Homelessness Reduction Bill of 2017

Regarding his homeless status, Peter has the option to avail the help that is being offered to him by the outreach support groups so that he has a place to stay and not have to stay on the streets even in extreme weather conditions. Having a place to stay would also enable him to take care of his health, which has been drastically affected because of him staying alone for so long. Peter has to understand that the attempts by the outreach groups would only benefit him and his health, social and financial conditions would all improve significantly if he avails these assistances (Watts and Fitzpatrick 2017). On the other hand, his capacity to make decisions have doubts about them as well. His years of drug abuse and continuing alcohol abuse may have significantly and adversely affected his thinking and subsequent decision making capabilities. For this reason, he cannot be fully trusted to understand the situations properly and make the decisions accordingly. Hence, the members of the outreach support groups would need to make him understand the entire scenario so that he can be helped in taking the decisions that are the most beneficial to him (Wilson 2017).

To help Peter the most, the outreach group members can take the aid of the Homelessness Reduction Bill of 2017, which has been specifically designed to help the people who do not have a place to stay in. The Act aims to build housing projects that are done so specifically to house people those are in need and have to live under the open sky. The Homelessness Reduction Bill became an Act of Parliament in 2017, after receiving the Royal Assent (Riley 2017). New legal duties are to be introduced by this Bill in the councils, so that any person who is homeless or is at a risk of being homeless can avail the benefits of the Act and have a place where they can stay. The current Act is essentially an amendment to part VII of the Housing Act of 1996. Crisis, an independent panel of experts which was established in 2015, is the basis of the Act, which draws its basic concepts and ideals from the works of the said panel. Crisis is a national charity mission for homeless people who are also single. This expert panel aimed to make assessments of the current legislation's strengths and weaknesses which pertain to the condition of the country's single homeless people and make amendments where it and when it was deemed to be necessary (Pleace 2015). This Act would be the best possible way to help Peter and ensure that he has a proper place to stay. However, to avail the benefits of the Bill, he too has to cooperate with the outreach teams that are trying to help them. This new framework was introduced in the Parliament as a Private Member’s Bill in 2016, by Bob Blackman, and MP of the Conservative party. By the amended Bill, a person is threatened with homelessness if the person has a prospect of becoming homeless within the next fifty-six days. If a person if given a notice under the section 21 of the Housing Act of 1988, which will expire within the next fifty-six days, then that person too is considered to be homeless. The new bill has an altered section 4 and has a new section 5 attached to it, which was not part of the previous Act. However, it has been deemed that the homeless people are to be given more care and focus so that their problems can be solved (Peterson2015). The Act is set to be amended further in April of 2018, which is supposed to be making extensive changes on the current homelessness protection plans, as well as extend the same. These changes would be done in some key ways so that the Act can be improved. The newly improved Act could benefit Peter in more than one way so that his homeless status could be changed.

Importance of Outreach Support


According to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, it is a responsibility of the government to reduce the homelessness from the country (Legislation.gov.uk 2018). However, people who have no residency needs more support from the society and government. In the recent years, homelessness is a big issue for the country as it has been increasing rapidly. As per the given scenario, Peter was homelessness and had a strong addiction towards the alcohol and the drug. Due to lack of residency, he had been facing health issues. Hence, by following this Act, the social agencies such as outreach team could be able to give him support. Housing policy is one of the major policies of the UK government that supports the homelessness people. Peter needs more support from the society as homeless makes people more vulnerable and leads them to commit any crime. Application of the homelessness policy in the context of Peter could be beneficial to give him strong support. On the other hand, such policy could give him residential support and a better life. It was crucial for the social agencies to follow the homelessness policy and the Act to contribute more in the society for example, for the Peter these Act and policy could have a great impact on their current state and might improve his condition by reducing his alcohol and drug addiction.

Peter could not decide their situation as he had a strong addiction. On the other hand, he was a shoplifter, which is a big crime. Therefore, he stayed in the street and used to refuse to take any support from the social agencies. People, who are addicted towards the substances may lose the capacity of taking any decision regarding themselves (Morse 2017). In this situation, their mental status is not good to take a right decision about them. In the context of Peter, he was very addicted to the drug and alcohol. As a result, he has lost his capacity of thinking in a right way. He liked to create violence in the street and used to leave a negative impact on the street environment. Therefore, he tended to steal the things from the shops to meet his need for alcohol and drug. Hence, such situation highlights that Peter was not in a condition to take any kind of decision regarding his improvement. On the other hand, Peter rejected to take any support from anyone this ensures that he had no intention to improve his current condition. According to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Peter can be cited as a mentally dependent individual due to his lack of the ability to make judgements and decisions regarding his well-being. In this context, he should be given proper help and healthcare and aid. The act gives the individual right to get the services that are in his best interest (Greaney 2005). This would help in involving the different individuals to make sure that they have to perform the different functions in the light of the situational scenarios which Peter faces in the case of his homelessness and his addiction makes him liable for the help to getting home and help in returning to a regular lifestyle.

Support Needed for Homeless Drug Addicts


There are many different problems faced by Peter due to his inability to get a job in the different sectors because of his recurring habit of drug addiction. The drug addiction that is the cause of his overdependence on the different help services makes him vulnerable to the situational aspects. The addiction of the Peter may be considered as the main cause of the different problems faced by him, and the mitigation of the issue of addiction should be the first step to solve the different problems.

If I had the option to do so, I would be trying to help a person like Peter by first giving the person psychological assessments to evaluate her or his mental conditions, which would help the care givers to approach the person in need in a more careful and articulated way with better information and knowledge about the homeless person. This would also enable the caregivers to prioritise the problems of the person they are dealing with, and decisions that are to be taken are almost sure to be more precise and focused upon the problems (Bonner 2017).

After that, I would be focusing on trying to help the person to get off the drug use by providing assistances. Along with helping with the drug problem, it must also be ensured that the person does not develop another issue like Peter, who has started consumption of alcohol more than previously, resulting in a deteriorated behaviour.


This sort of behaviour can very well be seen as problematic by the other residents, and hence he was evicted twice from the hostels. Even though the Homelessness Act would be benefitting him in many ways, he has to change his ways so that he can continue staying in the buildings and not spend any more nights in the streets in bad weather conditions. Unless Peter amends his ways and behaviours, he cannot be helped by anyone. Strong cooperation on his part is a must, and this has to be done properly (Morse 2017). Psychological analysis and assessment would be highly beneficial in this regard as well because it would give the care givers a better understanding of the views of the homeless person, thus enabling them to establish better communication among themselves. Moreover, the fifty six-day eviction notice would also help the caregivers to make a plan for the person who is being threatened with homelessness. Moreover, since a person like Peter is single, it would mean that the person is eligible for even more benefits of the Act. Considering the condition of Peter in the society, there is a case of constant need for the care and attention. If I have to provide him with housing one of the major issue that I have to face in the society is the allowance of the person of being accepted in the society.

References

Bonner, A. ed., 2017. Social Determinants of Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Social Inequality and Wellbeing. Policy Press.

Bramley, G. and Fitzpatrick, S., 2018. Homelessness in the UK: who is most at risk?. Housing Studies, 33(1), pp.96-116.

Greaney, N., 2005. Mental Capacity Act 2005. London: Law Society.

Legislation.gov.uk. 2018. Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. [online] Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/13/contents/enacted [Accessed 8 Feb. 2018].

Morse, A., 2017. Homelessness. Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, 13 September 2017.

Peterson, M., 2015. Introduction: Homelessness is an ageing policy issue. Parity, 28(6), p.9.

Pleace, N., 2015. At what cost? An estimation of the financial costs of single homelessness in the UK. Crisis. July.

Riley, C., 2017. The homeless community: breaking down the barriers to primary care. International Paramedic Practice, 7(2), pp.26-30.

Schmidt, E.M., Gupta, S., Bowe, T., Ellerbe, L.S., Phelps, T.E., Finney, J.W., Asch, S.M., Humphreys, K., Trafton, J., Vanneman, M. and Harris, A.H., 2017. Predictive validity of a quality measure for intensive substance use disorder treatment. Substance abuse, 38(3), pp.317-323.

Stephens, M., 2017. Social Rented Housing in the (DIS) United Kingdom: Can Different Social Housing Regime Types Exist within the Same Nation State?. Urban Research & Practice, pp.1-23.

Watts, B. and Fitzpatrick, S., 2017. Ending Homelessness Together in Northern Ireland: A Unique Challenge. European Journal of Homelessness _ Volume, 11(2).

Wilson, W., 2017. House fo Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07854, 23 January 2017: Homelessness Reduction Bill 2016-17: Report on Committee Stage.

The biggest problem that Peter

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