ARE YOU HOMELESS, SOFA SURFING OR AT RISK?

Abdul, a Centrepoint young person.

FAQs

We've put together some responses to the questions you ask us the most.

Read on to find out more about our work, how we manage your support and how you can get involved.

 

Homelessness and Centrepoint's work

Who are Centrepoint and what do you do?

Centrepoint is the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity.

We support young people aged 16-25 across 60 services in London, Yorkshire, Manchester and the North East of England.  Homeless young people can stay with Centrepoint for up to two years.  After this, we keep supporting them for another six months to make sure they can live independently.

We provide accommodation, health support and life skills to get homeless young people back into education, training and employment. Amazingly, 88% of Centrepoint young people move into their own homes or reconnect with their families, get their first jobs or go to university.

How do young people get a room?

Local council services refer young people to Centrepoint. A lot of the young people who come to us have experienced extreme housing needs. These are often caused by issues such as family breakdown, abuse, and mental and physical health problems. We also work with care leavers and young people who have criminal records.

Do young people pay rent?

Yes. Our accommodation has a cost attached to support the ongoing maintenance of the building. We remind young people who are paying rent that this is a priority.

When a young person signs a tenancy agreement, they agree to pay rent and other charges weekly. It’s very important that young people do not get behind with their payments.

The rent we charge is significantly reduced from the market rate in our services’ local area. Paying rent also teaches young people about taking responsibility for managing their finances. We help young people to understand and manage this.

Does Centrepoint support rough sleepers?

Yes – around 28% of the young people we support have slept rough.

A lot of young people referred to us by the local council are known as the “hidden homeless”. These are young people trapped in a cycle of sleeping on night buses, at rail stations or on friend’s sofas.

Someone I know has gone missing. Are you able to help?

Unfortunately, no. Centrepoint is not a missing person’s agency, and it’s highly unlikely a missing person would arrive at one of our services. We’re also unable to provide temporary accommodation.

You can find useful information about how to register a missing person on the Missing People’s website. You should also report them to the Police.

How do I get support for a homeless young person?

We can only support and advise young people if:

  • they are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • they live in the UK
  • they are aged between 16-25

If you know a young person who needs housing advice, please refer them to the Centrepoint Helpline.

If they are below the age of 18, contact your local children’s services immediately.

Can I refer a young person to Centrepoint?

Unfortunately we can’t accept referrals from young people, friends or family. Centrepoint works on a referrals basis, so local council services refer young people to us.

Young people must present to their local council as homeless or at risk of homelessness. If they are accepted, the council will assess them and work out their housing needs. If they are referred to Centrepoint, we will then place them in the right accommodation based on their individual needs.

I've seen someone sleeping rough. How can I help them?

If you see someone rough sleeping, please contact Streetlink. Streetlink enables members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them. 

You can also call the Shelter Helpline on 0808 800 4444. They’re open 8am-8pm on weekdays and 9am-5pm on weekends.

Please be aware Centrepoint is unable to visit a homeless young person as we don’t have an outreach programme.

I have a spare room. Can a young person stay with me?

Thank you for kind offer – this is what we would call “supported lodgings”. This isn’t something we currently offer or support as we don’t have the necessary procedures in places.

However, we do endorse this type of provision as it can be very effective in meeting the needs of young people. If this is something you’re considering, please contact your local council.

Fundraising and support

How can I make a donation to Centrepoint?

Thank you so much for considering supporting our work.

You can make a regular donation by Direct Debit or a one-off donation. Please visit our donate page.

You can also call our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20. You can speak to them about setting up a donation by bank transfer or standing order.

What is room sponsorship?

Room sponsorship is a great way to support homeless young people. A room at Centrepoint gives a homeless young person a safe place to stay and the first step back into education, employment and training.

Room sponsors support us with a minimum gift of £12 per month. They then receive regular updates about how their support is changing lives and a welcome pack when they first sign up.

Become a room sponsor.

What is Gift Aid and am I eligible?

Gift Aid is a great way of increasing the value of your donation at no extra cost to you.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, we can reclaim the basic rate tax (25%) on your gift. This means if you donate £100, with Gift Aid will be worth £125 to Centrepoint.

The extra support is taken from the tax you have paid the government in the last four years. You can claim Gift Aid on your donation by phone, website and donation form.

If you have any questions, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or supportercare@centrepoint.org.

How much of your expenditure goes on your work with young people and how much goes on fundraising?

For every £1 Centrepoint supporters donate, 76p goes directly to supporting homeless young people. 1p goes towards Governance and the remaining 23p goes towards raising the next £1.

What is your Chief Executive’s salary and do you have a salary policy?

Our staff's salaries are similar to equivalent roles in the charitable and public sectors.

Centrepoint does not try to compete with salaries in the private sector. However, we must still attract the most talented, experienced professionals to ensure the best support for homeless young people. Safeguarding vulnerable young people and their futures requires professionalism and expertise.

Centrepoint’s Senior Executive team is smaller than those at other charities. This means the people in each role have to possess a broader range of skills and experience.

12 of our executives receive a salary of over £60,000, including our Chief Executive whose salary is over £130,000. 

How can I stop receiving post, emails or calls from you?

You can stop receiving communications from Centrepoint at any time. You can do this by contacting our Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or supportercare@centrepoint.org.

If you would like to tailor the communications you receive, please discuss your preferences with the team and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

How can I cancel or change my direct debit?

We completely understand things change and at some point you may want to amend or cancel your gift.

If you would like to change your donation, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or supportercare@centrepoint.org.

Please note it takes three working days to amend or cancel gifts. If your gift is due to be debited within three working days, we may not be to cancel it in time and you should contact your bank.

Can I donate items or food to young people at Centrepoint?

Thank you for your kind offer. The items we’re able to accept depends on the needs of our young people at the time you’re making the donation. We can’t always accept donations because of a lack of storage space at our services.

Please note we can’t accept the following items:

  • used or opened toiletries
  • perishable food
  • underwear
  • used bedding
  • expired products
  • damaged items
  • used electrical items
  • presents to specific young people (we don’t want to show favouritism)

If you have non-perishable food to donate, please send it to the Trussell Trust and let them know Centrepoint referred you. Once the Trust has received a certain amount of food donations on behalf of Centrepoint, they will provide grocery vouchers to our young people. Please note the Trussell Trust is unable to accept perishable food.

Are all the photos and stories you use real?

Every homeless young person’s story we share is true. However, we may use a model or an alias to protect the young person’s identity.

Can I visit one of your hostels?

Our hostels are generally not open to the public. This is mainly to protect the young people we support.

However, we do run an annual supporter event where you can hear from our young people and staff. Please email our Supporter Care team to find out about the next event and to register your interest.

Getting involved

Can I volunteer?

It’s great to hear you’re interested in supporting us by volunteering – thank you.

We recruit for roles based on the needs of the young people we support. There might be times when we don’t have any roles available and other occasions when we have a lot of positions to fill.  Unfortunately, we can’t accept speculative applications.

When we do advertise for amazing new volunteers to join us, we normally ask for a minimum commitment of three months. Check out our latest volunteering opportunities.

If you would like us to notify you when there are new volunteering opportunities available, please email volunteering@centrepoint.org. Please provide us with contact details and the location where you’re interested in volunteering.

I’m putting on my own event or taking part in a challenge event. Can I fundraise for you?

Yes, that’d be amazing – thank you.

Please visit the fundraising and events section of the website to see you how you can get started. 

I’d like to put on a Sleep Out. How can I do this?

Before putting on your own event, it’s worth checking out our Sleep Out pages to see if one has already been organised in your area.

If you’re still interested in holding your own, please visit out Put on your own Sleep Out page – there are lots of tips and resources there.

Can I buy presents for a young person?

We’re very grateful to everyone who wants to give a present to a young person.

However, we’d advise against sending individual presents as it’s hard to decide who should receive it.

If you’d like to do something special for our young people, please make a one-off gift or send in a grocery voucher.

My school would like to fundraise for you. How do we do this?

We’d love you to fundraise for us!

You can fundraise however you like, but we can provide tips and materials to help you every step of the way. Please email our Community and Events team to register your event and to let us know how we can help you. 

I’m an employer who would like to offer job opportunities to young people. How can I do this?

Thank you so much for offering to support our young people. If you’re a company and would like to talk more about job opportunities for Centrepoint young people, please email our National Employer Partnership Manager.

We’re a homelessness organisation who would like to find out more about working with Centrepoint. How can we help?

If you’re in Sunderland, Yorkshire, London or Manchester, please email our Centrepoint Partnering team.

If you’re in another part of the country, please email End Youth Homelessness.

I have an idea that could help end youth homelessness. Can Centrepoint help me take my idea forward?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to advise on projects designed to help with the very broad issue of homelessness.

We’re also unable to help with student research projects, because we don’t have enough staff to help with the number of requests we receive.

Still can't find what you're looking for?

If you have a question we haven't answered here, please contact our friendly Supporter Care team. They'll be more than happy to help.

Email the team