Very few positives will arise from the situation we’re in, and nearly a million people having to claim Universal Credit because of job loss is not one of them. But it will give many people a more tangible idea of what it’s like to try and claim UC, and a respect for those who do, particularly the young people who we so often see at Centrepoint who have to face the monolithic benefits system alone.
An education is an essential pathway into a good job for most - but for homeless young people, it can be what takes them out of a life of poverty and rough sleeping, and gives them a chance to create their own futures. But from the very start, getting into higher education can be a struggle in itself.
For many young people claiming benefits, Universal Credit can be both a blessing and a curse. For those like Daniel, getting into non-standard employment meant his UC left him in detrimental financial difficulty.