Tackling homelessness isn’t simply about housing people. It’s about recognising that each person is an individual with hopes, dreams and yes, potentially traumas too. We know that 94 per cent of those facing homelessness have experienced trauma.

Coming to terms with that trauma, understanding it, and moving forward can be a messy, difficult and expensive process. But it is the way to ensure that for each individual homelessness is rare, brief and doesn’t re-occur.

It can be done, but it requires money and policy change. Local authorities have less money to spend on homelessness now than they did in 2010. Add to that a decline in building social housing, and you can see that there is a squeeze.

Currently, nearly £25 billion is being spent on housing benefit. That’s largely because people experiencing homelessness are housed by private landlords. Is this money well spent? I’d argue not. Imagine a scenario where you have 30-40 people who’ve come from traumatic situations all under one roof in rented accommodation. This is not a great environment for anyone, but especially those made vulnerable by traumatic experiences.

Getting the right provision for each person is so very important. This morning, I was reminded of the reality of working with and helping people who’ve experienced multiple traumas. A young woman, who we are helping, tried to end her life. She needs specialist medical and mental health care, but it simply isn’t available. We’ll ensure that staff are on watch every two hours, day and night. But, wouldn’t it be better if the right, expert provision was made for her?

When it is, things go well. Mobarak fled Sudan when he was just 14. It’s bewildering to think of what that experience must have been like for a teenager. The final leg of his journey was in a small boat across the Channel, an experience that he describes as ‘scary’. He thought he might die at any moment.

He’s received trauma-informed support and is now feeling far more ‘confident’ about the future. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?

Within the next year to 18 months there will be a general election. For whoever forms the next government, the issue of tackling homelessness will need to be on their agenda. So what to do? We need to build tens of thousands of social homes per year just to catch up with lost provision. So let’s look at that £25 billion that we pay private landlords. Could we spend it better elsewhere? Could we start with the support and help that people need?

Investment will be required. But it is an investment in people, not just bricks and mortar. Furthermore, it’s an investment in our society, so that it becomes one where, if you have the misfortune to become homeless, that is a brief and rare experience, and only happens to you once. Investment in people like this means that the revolving door of homelessness is replaced by a door that closes behind someone as they enter their future lives, able to step forward into their hopes and dreams.

David Smith, CEO of Oasis Communtiy Housing