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More than rough sleeping

At HARP, we help people affected by homelessness, including rough sleepers and the hidden homeless, as well as people at risk of becoming homeless. We help by providing people with the service, support and advice that’s right for them.


When people think of homelessness they often think of people they see on the streets, however this only makes up 11% of the people that we helped last year. Homelessness is more than rough sleeping.


Below are some definitions of situations linked to homelessness.

11% of the people we helped last year were rough sleeping.

Homeless woman sleeping rough black and white

Statutory homelessness

Statutory homelessness refers to people that have been legally defined as homeless. Due to the limited resources that councils currently have, this does not include everyone that we help at HARP.

Councils have a duty to help people who are found to be of priority need and not ‘intentionally homeless’, this group of people are statutory homeless. Due to strict guidelines, these people are usually families with children, pregnant women and those considered to be most vulnerable.

At HARP, our doors are open to single adults who are without a permanent home or feel that they are at risk of becoming homeless.

Rough sleepers

Rough sleepers are the most visible homeless people. You have probably seen rough sleepers in shop doorways, bus shelters and other public areas. However, some sleep in more hidden locations too. Rough sleepers often have issues with their health and can be very vulnerable.

If you are concerned about a rough sleeper, please contact Street Link on 0300 500 0914 or visit their website:

Ron was rough sleeping for 30 years before coming to HARP for help.

HARP service user homeless southend

Hidden homelessness

Sometimes, homeless people are not included in official statistics. This could be because they have not sought help from their local council

or maybe they are not entitled to housing support.


Some people in this situation will make temporary arrangements, like staying on a friend or family member’s floor or sofa. Others may sleep in squats or other insecure accommodation. This group of people are also often referred to as 'no fixed abode' or 'NFA'.

Formerly homeless HARP resident sits outside Southend home

John was sleeping in and working out of a van for nearly 10 years before he came to HARP.

At risk

People who are at risk of becoming homeless are people who are close to losing either their tenancy or property. If you are at risk of homelessness, please come to our Bradbury Day Centre where we can offer you professional advice and support you with contacting your landlord to resolve any issues. Or head to our Get help online page for further help.

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