Here Are The Real Reasons Behind Why 83,000 Young People Are Made Homeless Every Year

Here Are The Real Reasons Behind Why 83,000 Young People Are Made Homeless Every Year

This September, more than 400,000 young people will be leaving home to begin further or higher education or their career - but not every young person faces such a bright future.

Research conducted by Centrepoint, the homeless youth charity, has revealed violence, abuse and neglect were the main factors for 67% of 16 to 25 year olds becoming homeless. Even more shockingly, 38% of them are being actively forced out by their parents.

Each year, 83,000 young people experience homelessness across the UK, with BME groups, those with experience of care, and ex-offenders being more likely to become homeless.

The breakdown of their family relationship resulted in more than a third of homeless young people being kicked out of. For 23% of homeless young people, arguments occurred several times a day and more worryingly one in five homeless young people experienced violence and felt they had to leave for their own safety.

One homeless young person, who wished to remain anonymous, said his home life was chaotic. “The violence… was unbearable, especially for my two younger siblings," he said.

“We’ve always known that a breakdown in the family can play a big part in young people becoming homeless, but this survey is the first of its kind to go in-depth and unearth the triggers behind why so many young people are finding themselves with nowhere to turn," Paul Noblet, head of public affairs at Centrepoint, told HuffPost UK.

"It’s a little known fact but the biggest cause of youth homelessness is family relationship breakdown," he added. "There are many different potential triggers – a young person or parent’s mental health problems, conflict with step parents, or a young person revealing their sexuality.

"For many young people who find themselves in need of Centrepoint’s help staying at home was simply not an option , they were forced out."

Titled ‘Centrepoint: Divers to homelessness research 2015’, the charity used real stories from homeless young people to compare the stark differences in lifestyles between those preparing to leave home for work and education and those who have been made homeless.

Catherine has been homeless intermittently since she was 15. After a traumatic childhood, the 22-year-old developed a number of mental health issues. “Being homeless destroyed my mental health," she said. "You just feel like you're not part of society and that you don't deserve nice things and you don't have a voice."

Catherine has spent the last 18 months in Centrepoint and begins an access course in September and hopes to go on to study Politics in university.

The government's cuts to social housing have not helped the situation, according to Noblet, arguing they make rehousing homeless youths more difficult.

"Our biggest concern is the Government’s plan to cut Housing Benefit for 18-21 year-olds. The impact could be catastrophic: for the most vulnerable young people in this country housing benefit is a lifeline, not a lifestyle choice.

"There is a huge danger that a discretionary system will lead to thousands of vulnerable slipping through the safety net. It is already extremely difficult for a young person to prove that they are estranged from their family – very few families are prepared to admit that they are unwilling to house their children."

Noblet continues: "Experiencing homelessness is often a scarring experience which can seriously damage a young person’s physical and mental health, jeopardise their education and make their chance of finding and holding down a job even more challenging.

"Young people are often forced to take desperate measures when they find themselves with nowhere to go. Out most recent research into rough sleeping showed that of young people who have slept rough nearly half have been victims of assault or physical abuse.

"Whether they’re exposed to the dangers of the streets, sleeping on night buses or trapped in a cycle of moving from one floor or sofa to another, it’s important that young people get the help they need to find a safe place to stay, like Centrepoint, as soon as possible."

Centrepoint supports more than 8,400 homeless young people a year, providing accommodation-based services in London and the North of England, including emergency night shelters and short stay services.

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