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The Issue

Youth homelessness is reported as being relatively steady in most authorities across the country.  However the YHNE Survey of Youth Homelessness findings in our region suggest an increase in young people who present as homeless or in need of advice and support, with 669 young people presenting in February 2015, compared to just 533 in February of 2012.

Of the young people who become homeless, care-leavers and young offenders are a significant group.  The successful implementation of Joint Protocols for 16/17 year olds has resulted in reduced numbers of this age group becoming homeless and most authorities have managed to safeguard preventative work including mediation services despite cuts and reduced resources.

Relationship breakdown remains the biggest cause of youth homelessness, that is, parents, carers or other relatives either no longer able or willing to keep young people in the home.  What has changed are the underlying issues, with financial pressure now featuring as a key factor in relationship breakdown where young people are asked to leave, with anecdotal evidence that this may be linked to welfare reform.

Young people who have been affected by homelessness are very clear about the type of responses that should be in place; Prevention first, starting in school through education on homelessness and services available, Mediation, to support young people to remain or return home where possible. And, Preparation to ensure young people have the skills needed to live independently and manage a tenancy.  They want Housing that is secure, where they have rights and a permanent home, in an area they know and feel safe and welcomed in, close to family, carers and friends.  Young people want consistent and flexible Support over time, this is particularly important for young people leaving-care.  They want Informed Professionals they come into contact with to have a good knowledge of homelessness and the issues young people face.  Young people want to be Listened to.

Affordable housing is essential, and Housing Benefit is crucial to ensure the most vulnerable young people can secure housing.  Young people also want to work and employment is fundamental to achieving long-term successful futures.

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Youth Homeless North East
Broadacre House
Market St
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6HQ

Email:
info@yhne.org.uk