Hard Edges – Scotland


A much anticipated study into the factors that contribute to severe multiple disadvantage (SMD) is due to be published on the 24 June 2019 by the Lankelly Chase Foundation and partners. The ‘Hard Edges – Scotland’ report will consider the relationship between homelessness, offending and substance misuse and also explore the impact of domestic violence and poor mental health on SMD.

In 2015 the report Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantage in England was published. It immediately made a splash and has continued to generate interest from government and a wide range of organisations for its compelling evidence and detailed findings.

The idea was to capture a sense of what ‘severe and multiple disadvantage’ (SMD) means in England, linking homelessness, substance misuse and criminal justice systems while underlining the strong links with other issues, including overall poverty.

It became apparent that a Scottish study, reaching beyond what had been attempted in England, could adopt a more in-depth and holistic analysis of local circumstances adding weight to the discussions around prevention, and to help address the causes of entrenched homelessness.

As well as the three themes of homelessness, offending and substance misuse covered by the previous report, the Scottish study also adds additional weight to mental health (MH) and domestic violence and abuse (DVA). This gives fuller recognition to a range of complex need experiences which arguably require more policy attention and service response, and which tend to affect women more than the issues captured in the original.

The report will be published on Thursday 13 June and will be available here.