Disabled Homeless People

This dissertation seeks to show that charities for homeless people have a duty to address disability, and that these charities fail to do so even though more than half of homeless people are disabled people.

The duty to address compliance with disability legislation is examined briefly, and the logical implication that disability among the beneficiaries of a charity must first be recognised is stated.

Two surveys were done to illustrate that more than half of homeless people are disabled people. In contrast, 16% of Britain’s population are disabled people, with a spending power of £80 billion per annum.

A computer search of disability, poverty and homelessness literature was done to find direct links between disability and homelessness. No such links could be found, illustrating that disability and homelessness are not conceptually linked in theory or common practice.

The causes of homelessness were examined, and the question raised whether many of these ‘causes’ of homelessness are directly linked to disability. Might disability poverty cause someone to be unable to meet rent payments, so that “rent not paid” is not the actual cause of homelessness. The causes of homelessness were examined in the light of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

In conclusion I recommend that disability and Homelessness charities seriously examine the links between disability and homelessness, and that University graduates in Disability Studies are appointed to the board as Disability Officers, where they should hold no other portfolio.

I recommend that the leaders in charity governance alter governance methods and objectives in such a way that an awareness of disability and homelessness will filter through to grassroots levels, and permeate our society, as happened in the case of blind people, who are no longer homeless people. If this happens people with unseen disabilities will also cease to be homeless.

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