Homelessness featured strongly as a research theme in this month’s Pulse, with a number of new reports looking into the impact of Covid-19 in this context. Shelter’s research into those who spent the first period of lockdown in temporary accommodation describes the significant and long-lasting ill effects on people’s mental wellbeing and feelings of safety. The Health Foundation published a long read emphasising the links between housing and wellbeing and exploring the impact of inequalities. The LGA published a report urging us to reconsider homelessness prevention, moving beyond reactive responses to need to a true focus on prevention.
Those facing multiple disadvantage are at greater risk of being unable to access support and housing, and their mental health and wellbeing are likely to be disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This month saw the publication of our mid-year year 4 report from our national evaluation of the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) Approach, a framework to help local areas deliver better coordinated services for people facing multiple disadvantage. Our evaluation findings from year 3 indicated that accommodation was an area of substantial improvement for clients in MEAM areas, but progress related to mental health remained challenging. Our year 4 evaluation approach therefore has a focus on the role of statutory mental health services for those experiencing multiple disadvantage. We value the chance to investigate this area further as we proceed with our evaluation, and look forward to publishing the results of the evaluation in summer 2021.