Resettling homeless people
Theory and practice
BY Mike Seal

Supplying a much-needed and accessible exploration of what makes for successful, sustainable resettlement of homeless people, this book fills a gap between:
  • on the one hand, a growing awareness amongst practitioners and policy makers of the importance of a comprehensive resettlement strategy
  • the previously limited examination of good practice and underpinning theoretical concepts on the other.

  • Exploring in detail the theory and skills needed for intervening effectively with service users, it shows the importance of approaching resettlement as an on-going process to empower homeless people to gain and remain in appropriate permanent accommodation, and focuses on solutions that go beyond the securing of move-on accommodation. There are three main, inter-connected themes:
  • · Defining the work to prevent the task of resettlement being oversimplified on the one hand, and having false expectation put on it on the other - and so developing a generic model for working across the spectrum of people who find themselves homeless, while emphasising the varying manifestations this may take.
  • Showing that workers and services must adopt a holistic approach, taking into account the cognitive, emotional and practical aspects of the individual's functioning.
  • Recognising that the role of a resettlement worker is a complex and professional one, and therefore needs some of the structures, values and attitudes that are associated with being a professional.

  • Paperback. 208 pages. 978-1-903855-65-2. Published 2005. £18.95.


  • Practitioners involved in the resettlement and support of homeless people, and people in supported housing, in all working contexts - day centres, hostels, street work, tenancy support and floating support.
  • Allied professions such as social workers, probation workers, Connexions, youth workers and any care profession whose work involves problems with housing.
  • Students undertaking the Advanced Professional Certificate in Working with Homeless People offered by the YMCA George Williams College in London, for which it serves as a text-book; and NVQs in Housing and in Promoting Independence.
  • Policy makers and those responsible for the development of homeless services - particularly relevant given the recent expansion of such services under Supporting People.


    Resettlement: a Cinderella service?
    Definitions and key debates
    Historical legacies: homelessness from Spikes to Supporting People
    Common themes in resettling homeless people
    The ethos of resettlement, managing values and tensions
    The environment and working relationships
    The client-worker relationship
    Management and the culture of support
    Networking within resettlement, dumping and referring on
    Structuring our work
    Recording and managing information
    Assessment one: principles, eligibility and risk
    Assessment two: needs assessment
    Support planning
    Caseloads and approaches to work
    Developing practitioner skills: working with the process of change
    An operational model for resettlement revisited
    Prochaska and DiClemente and the cycle of change
    Working with emotional reactions to moving accommodation
    Cognitive interventions in resettlement work
    Resettlement work with homeless people: a synthesis of knowledge and the emergence of a new profession


    Mike Seal
    is a Senior Lecturer in Informal and Community Education at the YMCA George Williams College in east London. He has worked in the homeless field for fourteen years as a frontline worker, researcher and trainer.


    "This is an important book for the homeless sector….Mike Seal has established a solid grounding for debating the nature of the services we offer to homeless people….has managed to combine a breadth of academic resources with the ideas of good practice that have emerged from working at the coalface in a way that is interesting and challenging. The book is accessible and avoids the stodginess of many academic books on homelessness….a useful resource for staff and managers in all homelessness services and I really think that everyone working with homeless people should read it." Connect (Homeless Link).

    "In my work in an abstinence-based treatment setting, many clients come to us with a homeless label - and probably an equal number for whom return to the pre-treatment environment will mean relapse. I recommend this to substance-abuse workers generally as well as to those specialising in this area." Addiction Today.

    "An excellent and comprehensive treatment of what makes for successful and sustainable resettlement of homeless people…It intelligently bridges the gap between a serious academic discussion of resettlement and realistic and practical solutions. It deserves to be the key textbook on resettlement and has a place on any homeless reading list….a relevant and much needed model for working with homeless people taking into account all of their needs. It is a highly practical guide covering everything needed and as such could easily be incorporated into training sessions." Community Care.