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Introducing the programme

The Homelessness Research Programme (HRP) is based in the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce (HSCWRU) at King’s College London and brings together leading researchers in the field of homelessness health and social care.

Latest from the HRP

30 April 2024: Launch event (Final report): Evaluation of the Out-of-Hospital Care Models programme for people experiencing homelessness

18 March 2024Launch: Addressing multiple exclusion homelessness in social work education

29 November 2023Specialist homelessness social workers – new report

16 October 2023: Launch blog for new study on capacity assessment and homelessness.

6 October 2023Regular GP services face challenges to provide adequate care for people who are homeless, study finds (news item accompanying the publication of the final report and two briefing papers for professionals from our HEARTH study)

For other HRP news check under the News tab further down this page.

Overview of the programme

Recently completed (with a final report forthcoming) is a study of adult safeguarding responses to self-neglect among people experiencing homelessness and the role of adult safeguarding. Two short follow-on projects started in late 2022: one on the specialist social work role, and one on approaches to mental capacity with this population (itself a precursor to a two-and-a-half year study on mental capacity assessment in this field which started in October 2023). In 2023, we are also asking how multiple exclusion homelessness is addressed in social work education in England. An allied 2022 peer-led project engaged people with experience of homelessness in the production of a short film and accompanying report. Earlier (2019) we led on an examination of Safeguarding Adults Reviews where homelessness was a factor.

Recently completed is an evaluation of current out-of-hospital care models for the Department of Health and Social Care. This grew out of a major study of hospital discharge arrangements for those experiencing homelessness (final report, October 2021). These studies are/were both led by Professor Michelle Cornes, who earlier undertook an analysis of Multiple Exclusion Homelessness and the utility of Communities of Practice.

Running from 2023-26 and involving HRP researchers is a major collaborative study Housing Model Evaluation (HOME) which asks: What are the health impacts of housing-led systems that provide housing plus intensive forms of support for people with histories of chronic/repeat homelessness?

The HEARTH study, led by Maureen Crane, which has examined primary health care for people who are homeless published its final report and briefing papers in October 2023. Dr Crane also led the groundbreaking longitudinal study of single homeless people who have been resettled (Rebuilding Lives) and was co-investigator on a completed study assessing the services for older people who are homeless and have memory problems.

Programme aims

  • To contribute to theory development, by exploring the health and social care-related causes of homelessness and the ways in which it can be prevented.
  • To understand better the health and social care needs and circumstances of homeless and formerly homeless people.
  • To influence policy development on the prevention and alleviation of homelessness, and the improvement of health, social care and allied services for homeless and formerly homeless people.

Our webinar series

We run a webinar series on homelessness. It is free to attend and open to the general public. Please contact Jess Harris if you are interested in speaking about your research or innovative practice at this series.

Peer support network

If you are a practitioner you may be interested in joining the Peer Network for social workers specialising in homelessness and rough sleeping set up by Ellie Atkins.


Group leads