F451, if it WERE that simple, don't you think someone, somewhere in the world would have solved the problme by now?
The problem with Homeless charities is they never do themselves any favours. By refusing to admit that for some, at least, squatting is a lifestyle choice, they open themselves up to derision from those that have seen lifestyle squatters occupy properties.
You only have to look to the news to see examples of lifestyle squatters. Sure they may not be the majority, they may not even form a sizeable minority, but they do exist, and to say that no one squats out of choice is to ignore the very public face of squatting (it's not the unfortunate homeless that see their faces broadcast across the press is it, it's always the unemployable ex-student wannabe hippies).
For my two pence worth I'd extend Empty Dwelling Management Orders to commercial premises which have been vacant for 2 years or more. Give the local authority to take control of office buildings, and convert them into makeshift hostels for the homeless.
Add public authorities with empty buildings they can't shift and we could house the homeless in every town.
I'd then make squatting an arrestable offence, with punishment limited to community service (with the homeowner getting first dibs to put right any damage done). Repeat offenders would simply receive increased levels of community service and would have benefits stopped for periods of time.
Making squatting punishable by imprisonment (the prisons can't fit the rapists, murderers and MPs that we have, why fill them up with the homeless) or a fine of up to £5k (how is a person squatting meant to pay such a fine, £3 a week for 32 years!).
Alternatively, just make being homeless a mental illness, have them declared insane and lock them all up!