Being homeless is complex and a very different experience for every young person we support.
Young people have different issues and needs to adults, so they are many reasons why they can become homeless. It's often because it's not safe for them to stay at home, or family life has become too hard.
No home, no bed, no security and no stability – being homeless is exhausting and affects every part of a vulnerable young person’s life. No wonder they take risks to find somewhere to sleep.
The physical toll of sleeping outside is one issue, but sleeping on a bus or ever-changing network of sofas and floors can be just as challenging. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety or anorexia are easily made worse under these conditions.
Homeless young people often don’t have access to enough affordable, nutritious food. 60% of young people in our services told us they had skipped meals, slept hungry and eaten less because they couldn’t afford to eat.
Youth unemployment in the UK is still almost three times higher than the rest of the population. Getting into work is particularly tough for disadvantaged young people facing extra challenges in their lives.
A disrupted education is a common issue for homeless young people that drastically affects their chances of achieving qualifications. And without education or training, it’s even harder to find sustainable employment.
Young people out on the streets are often victims of assault or verbal abuse. These experiences, and fear of them, leave many young people feeling very vulnerable while rough sleeping.
Since 2017, over 8,000 people have been supported by the Centrepoint Helpline. But, with over 103,000 homeless young people approaching their local council for help last year, there are still many more we need to reach. Help us expand the Centrepoint Helpline so we can have more crucial conversations with vulnerable young people.
At 35 weeks pregnant, Tamara became homeless. After her mum kicked her out, she had nowhere else to turn. But with support and a lot of determination, Tamara has turned her life around and grown in confidence.
A safe place to live is just the start. Health support, life skills and access to education, training and employment are all essential to ending youth homelessness.
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