European nationals form a significant part of the UK homeless population. Although it is difficult to put an exact figure on numbers of migrants who are homeless, the latest data shows that 33% of rough sleepers in London were from European countries.
Some of these non-UK European nationals have the same rights as other people sleeping rough as UK nationals. Others have very limited or no entitlement to public funds. For homelessness services, evidencing people’s entitlements and supporting those with no entitlements away from the streets can pose a challenge.
Over the next few years, our working environment will evolve and so will the needs of the homeless population. Brexit will present additional challenges in supporting European Economic Area (EEA) homeless migrants. However, we cannot let uncertainty interfere with how we work with our clients, as they need us now more than ever.
We have updated Homeless Link’s guidance on supporting EEA nationals. The new resources provide an overview of key information, principles and good practice in response to EEA nationals experiencing homelessness. Find out more here