Violence, abuse and problems with mental health – young people often become homeless because it's safer to leave home than to stay.
103,000 young people asked for help with homelessness last year. But there is a solution.
Homeless young people have different issues and different needs to adults. They're often homeless because it's not safe for them to stay at home, or family life has become too hard. We know thousands of young people sleep rough every night, but there are thousands more sleeping on sofas, floors, night buses or with strangers – the 'hidden homeless'.
At risk and exhausted
No home, no bed, no security and no stability. Being homeless affects every part of your life. It's exhausting and could make mental health issues much worse. It's no wonder young people take risks to find somewhere to sleep.
Mental and physical health
The physical toll of sleeping outside is one issue, but sleeping on a bus or an ever-changing network of sofas and floors can be equally as challenging and exhausting. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety or anorexia are easily exacerbated.
Barriers to education and jobs
Disrupted education, a lack of qualifications, victims of crime and debt. These are all common issues for homeless young people and can drastically affect their success in staying in education and training or getting a job.
A safe, warm and stable place to live is the first, crucial step for every homeless young person. Then, we help to tackle physical and mental health issues, teach basic life skills and get them back into education, training or a job – this is the recipe for supporting homeless young people into positive and independent living.
That's right – the homeless young people that come to Centrepoint stay with us for up to two years. We see an amazing 86 per cent move into their own homes or connect back with their families, get their first jobs or go to uni.
My mum had a breakdown and beat me – I was put in hospital. I literally just walked out of the house. I called an ambulance and waited in the phone box. I was scared that I was going to die.
We support more than 10,000 homeless young people each year. Even with 86 per cent of the young people who come to Centrepoint moving on positively, with your support, there's still so much more for us to do. Tens of thousands of young people a year approach their councils for support with homelessness. We need your help to maintain our work in prevention, housing, education and health support to reach more of them.
If you're homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, or are already sleeping rough or sofa surfing, we can help you find the advice you need.