Women’s Homelessness

The biggest misconception we encounter is that women are at the Marylebone Project because of their own fault, chosen actions and have nothing to give. This is not the case.

Many of our women are educated, hold degrees (either from the UK or their native country), have employable skills and most importantly a willingness and desire to learn more.

Rough sleeping is the starkest form of homelessness.  Perhaps the most stereotypical image in the public eye is a male wrapped up with a sleeping bag, sat outside a station or shop asking for money for food. But the story and experience of homeless women is very different and often misunderstood.

Key Facts about Women’s Homelessness

  • For women, it is rarely a single incident or experience that results in an individual rough sleeping. More often than not, it is a series of circumstances and events that lead to women reaching a crisis point – losing their home or unable to return to their home due to the threat/fear of abuse
  • Women’s rough sleeping numbers are almost certainly undercounted and not included in official homelessness figures. Hiding from harm often means that women can be hidden from help – termed ‘hidden homelessness’
  • Many women ‘sofa-surf’ or stay with friends; when these arrangements breakdown and with nowhere to go women have no option but to sleep rough
  • Often women rough sleep out of the public eye – a shed in someone’s back yard, disused buildings, sleep on night buses, a church porch… hiding away to protect their safety as are at risk from sexual violence and abuse
  • Mixed gender homeless-hostels often present women with similar issues to the ones that they are escaping


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