There are many, many different definitions of homelessness. For example, national charity Shelter states you are considered homeless if:
Quoted from www.shelter.org.uk
Doorway’s Definition of Homelessness
We use a definition of homelessness based on our experience and the research of other organisations.
Single people aged 16+ who are:
The Downward Spiral of Homelessness
Many of our guests have complex needs including physical and mental health issues, substance use issues, debt and poor education.
Homelessness is likely to exacerbate existing problems and generate new ones, making it harder for homeless single people to acquire and sustain a tenancy of their own. As time goes by, many homeless people are less likely to be able to sustain a tenancy even when they reach the top of the housing waiting list.
Crisis reports that two thirds of homeless people regularly use substances including alcohol, and that they are up to eight times more likely to suffer from mental illness than the general population. Both these factors are likely to have played a major part in the first place (Factfile, 2005).
Generally, homeless adults in rural areas have fewer options than those in cities, where a large number of statutory and voluntary services are available. It is much harder to ascertain the levels of homelessness in rural areas, since it tends to be much less visible.
Single homelessness is largely an invisible problem with individuals ‘sofa surfing’ rather than sleeping outdoors. Our statistics show that 34% were staying with friends or family at first interview.Only 23% of those interviewed were housed at first visit.
Homeless doesn’t always mean roofless.