youth homelessness

Politicians have more to do to earn the trust of young people. Metro-mayors, notably Andy Burnham in Manchester, have placed homelessness squarely at the centre of priorities for the city-region. Given the result of the General Election, will any future government want to gamble its electoral success by ignoring voters who will be around for many elections to come?
Centrepoint's research shows that for each one of those young people we see on the streets, dozens more are sleeping on the sofas of extended family and friends and, in some cases, in the beds of strangers.
Across the political spectrum the homeless tend to be treated as passive recipients, whether of abuse or pity. While bad housing and welfare policy are creating more homelessness, it is often the critics of these policies that are creating homeless victims.
For too long homelessness and rough sleeping have been seen primarily by governments of all political colours as something to deal with at the point of crisis when someone has already been forced out of the home, either as a result of economic struggles or family breakdown.
Today the Capital's streets are in crisis - the number of under-25s sleeping rough in one of the richest cities in the world has more than doubled since the last mayoral election. Whoever succeeds Boris Johnson in May won't just have the platform to express concern and talk about change, they'll have the power, the public support, and a multi-million pound budget to work with London's boroughs to make homelessness and rough sleeping a thing of the past. But how should they do it and where should they start?
The aftermath of the Budget will be dominated by talk of who is better or worse off, but will it come too late for some of the most vulnerable people in our society? Support for youth homelessness is not on the verge of a funding crisis. It's already in one.
We see evidence of this in the latest Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) report. This report, released yesterday (18 June 2015) by the Greater London Authority (GLA), records the number of verified rough sleepers in London across 2014/15.
If this government is committed to doing this and giving young people a decent start in life, this Queen's Speech needs to first focus on providing them with a safe and stable environment that allows young people the chance to flourish and reach their full potential - to which Housing Benefit plays an important role.
Our shocking findings show that an estimated 12,000 16 and 17-year-olds - enough to fill Wembley arena - have asked their council for help in finding a new home for them. But more than half are turned away without even being assessed.
Over half of young people are still undecided as to who they will vote for in May it is in the interest of both young people and politicians to work together to get as many under-25s as possible reconnected with politics and registered to vote.