Youth homelessness. Not always as it seems.
When people see or hear the word homeless, their mind goes straight to thinking that it means people are sleeping rough on the streets and begging for money as there is so much stereotype behind this. What most people don’t know is that there are many different types of homelessness, not just sleeping rough; there are people that are sleeping in hostels that are known as homeless, people that are living in refuges and shelters are also known as homeless, people that are sofa surfing can be defined as homeless too.
Young homeless adults are not a priority according to the council regardless of their situation. According to the council unless a young homeless person is pregnant, has just come out of prison or is suffering from a terminal illness they cannot be housed as they do not fit the council’s criteria.
When young homeless adults go to the council to get help for their situation, they are left feeling hopeless as the council turns them away for not meeting the criteria and can leave them thinking there are no other organisations that will help them, this can lead to young homeless women wanting to get pregnant so that they can be a priority and get housed as well as claim benefits. For many young homeless men, they could be left thinking that they do not have any other option but to commit crimes such as dealing drugs and burglary to make money and survive.
No home, no security and no stability, being homeless can affect every part of someone’s life, especially for young adults as it could make their mental health issues much worse and with the exhaustion of not being able to rest and being alone, this could lead young people to taking risks to stay with strangers to feel safer than being on the street.
The mental health issues that young adults go through can affect them for the rest of their life as they may start to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses, the mental health issues that they go through aren’t always visible.
Young adults often find themselves homeless as they could be fleeing violence, relationship break downs, abuse or dealing with mental health problems therefore its safer for them to leave home than to stay at home. Nearly 86,000 young adults ask for help with homelessness every year. Centrepoint alone supports 10,000 homeless young people a year with almost a third of them being under the age of 18 and those are only the ones that are aware of places that can help with their situation such as Centrepoint, new horizon youth centre and so on.
Nobody asks to be homeless, but it can happen at any time to anyone.
If this resonates with you or someone that you know or are aware of, please contact Centrepoint.
THE CENTREPOINT HELPLINE
If you're young and worried you might be homeless, we're here for you. We offer advice to anyone in England aged 16-25.
Call us free on 0808 800 0661 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
We can also help people worried about a young person they know.