Homelessness charity Crisis hopes that its latest piece of research into homelessness and addiction will prove as influential as the study into homeless ex-servicemen it published a few years ago.
Crisis is using the report, Home and Dry, to convince local authorities, voluntary agencies and the Government that a massive increase in drug and alcohol services is needed to tackle homelessness effectively.
More than four out of five homeless people are addicted to either drugs or drink or both, the report says. Preliminary research results were sent to the Home Affairs Select Committee, which recommended a move away from criminalisation and towards more treatment for drug users.
The charity now plans to target local authorities and local Drug Action Teams in the hope of influencing local anti-homeless strategies. All local authorities have to draw up such strategies as part of the new Homelessness Act.