Learning activities

We should all have a safe place to call home

Homelessness is a problem that affects all of us in society, but we can all play our part in solving it.

We need the support of young people across Britain, because we know that it is only by working together that we can end homelessness.

On this page, you'll find activities, videos and information to understand more about the causes of homelessness, ways it can be solved, and how you can get involved in Crisis' work to end it for good.

Explore More

Learn more about homelessness and how you can help to end it with these games and activities.

Fundraising materials

School resources

Want to hold an assembly around the topic of ending homelessness?​ We're creating downloadable guides for some ideas to help engage young people on the topic​, which will be available soon. In the meantime, please see our activities above.

Noticeboard

See the amazing ways young people are supporting our goal to end homelessness.

Homelessness FAQs

A brief Q&A with commonly asked questions about homelessness.

We believe that everyone has a right to a home but currently there are more than 170,000 families and individuals across Great Britain experiencing the worst forms of homelessness. This includes people sleeping on the streets, sleeping in cars, staying with family and friends on floors or sofas, staying in hostels, and or trapped in other dangerous situations.

There are at least 38,000 young adults under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness, with almost half of this group sleeping on friend’s sofas.

Homelessness is rising, but we know it can be solved.

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness but there are a wide range of situations that are also described as homelessness. Understanding each type of homelessness leads to better support and a better view of homelessness as a whole.

Rough sleeping

There were an estimated 4,751 people sleeping rough in England on a single night in the Autumn of 2017. This was up by 15% on 2016 (source: Rough Sleepers Statistics Autumn 2017, England).

In temporary accommodation

Over 20,000 households in England and Scotland who are trapped living in unsuitable temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and nightly-paid hotels – a number that has doubled between 2012 and 2017.

The length of time people can stay in temporary accommodation can range from a single night to indefinite. There are a number of different types of temporary accommodation:

  • night/winter shelters
  • hostels
  • B&Bs
  • woman’s refuges
  • private and social housing

Hidden homelessness

The majority of homeless people are hidden from statistics and services as they are dealing with their situation informally. This means staying with family and friends, sofa surfing, living in unsuitable housing such as squats or in ‘beds in shed’ situations (The Homelessness Monitor: England 2018). All these situations leave the person extremely vulnerable. The majority of the hidden homeless will have slept rough at some time (The hidden truth about homelessness, 2011).

Statutory homeless

When approaching local authorities for support those deemed in ‘priority need’ are described as being statutory homeless because they are owed a duty by their local authority. In the 2016/17 financial year there were 59,110 households accepted as in priority need (Statutory homelessness, October to December, 2017 DCLG).

There are also ways that members of the public can help immediately. If you see someone sleeping rough, contact Streetlink (in England & Wales), or the local council in Scotland, to connect that person with the homelessness services in their area. If you have immediate concerns about their welfare, call 999.

Young people can also help by learning more about the topic and sharing this knowledge in their local community. Completing activities such as the ones on this page and then taking further action with Crisis will help us to end homelessness together. You can get involved with Crisis directly either by fundraising, campaigning, or volunteering with us. 

· People lose their homes when the rising pressure from high rents and low wages becomes too much. Without government support, a sudden increase in pressure, like losing a job, becoming ill, or leaving home to get out of an dangerous relationship, can quickly push people into homelessness.

· For far too long, the instability and rising costs of private renting, coupled with the huge disparity between housing benefit payments and rising rents, has been pushing more and more people into homelessness – particularly those in the most vulnerable circumstances. 

· Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent. Across the country, people are struggling to keep their heads above water - often because of cuts to benefits and a lack of genuinely affordable homes.

More than 170,000 families and individuals across Britain are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, according to new figures released today. This includes people sleeping on our streets, sofa-surfing with strangers, living in hostels, and stuck in other dangerous situations.

The new research, commissioned by national homelessness charity Crisis and carried out by Heriot-Watt University, shows that this dire situation affects all age groups. There are at least 38,000 young adults under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness, with almost half of this group sofa-surfing. There are also at least 4,200 homeless people aged 65 or over.

The total also includes over 20,000 households in England and Scotland who are stuck in unsuitable temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and nightly-paid hotels

We help people directly out of homelessness, and campaign for the social changes needed to solve it altogether. We know that together we can end homelessness. Homelessness isn’t inevitable. In England in the early 2000s we dramatically reduced the number of people sleeping on our streets, and there are countries and cities around the world which have rapidly reduced and even ended some forms of homelessness. But, if we do nothing, more people will be without a place to live and we’ll all lose out. Homelessness has a huge human cost but also a financial one.

Last year Crisis published a plan to end homelessness. The plan presents the practical solutions needed to end homelessness in Britain. These were underpinned by evidence and examples of the change that needs to happen. The plan was targeted at the politicians and decision makers who can make its aims a reality.

In order to achieve changes in policy, that will lead to an end in homelessness, we need the general public to support them. While there is strong evidence across Britain that the public is demanding a better response from governments, there is also a cynicism about what can be achieved. Too many people believe that homelessness is a product of poor choices. We therefore must change the way we communicate our issue to emphasise the solutions to it.

We can end homelessness for good. This doesn’t mean that no-one will ever lose their home again, but that everyone facing homelessness gets the help they need quickly. It means making sure we all have a place to live, and together doing everything we can to stop people from losing their homes in the first place.

Contact us

We’re really happy to help you if you have any questions. Get in touch by emailing us at fundraise@crisis.org.uk