Lowest number of young homeless people in the North East since 2016, YHNE report reveals

Adele Irving during presentation │YHNE, 2018

In its seventh year, Youth Homeless North East (YHNE) has conducted its annual survey in an event hosted yesterday at Mea House in Newcastle. The research has shown a gradual decrease in the number of young people considered homeless from 56 to 35 during February 2017/18 and reaching its lowest level since 2016 (66). However, only a third of those seeking for help received support from the local authorities.

Charities and councils across the North East have brought together during the annual report conducted by Dr Adele Irving from Northumbria University in company of YHNE’s director, Sharon Brown. This report offers relevant data of the main causes behind youth homelessness in the region.

‘Around 400 teenagers were seeking for help and advice to their local authorities during February this year, but just a few have received assistance. This data warns us that there is a lack of assistance from charities, partners, and local authorities to help young people to live independently’, said Irving.

YHNE’s director, Sharon Brown │ YHNE, 2018

For Brown, the main issue is that most of the aim is focused on giving young people a roof and a place to live temporarily. ‘When a young person is coming to us for help, it is too late. To reduce youth homelessness, we need to act before hand in the schools, with their families, and local authorities to prevent that they end in the streets’.

Key findings

  • Most people who seek for help were between 16-17 years old young parents/pregnant young people, and care leavers.
  • 35 young people were accepted as ‘homeless’ by local authorities in February 2018
  • Breakdown relationships and parents no longer willing to accommodate young people identified as the main cause of youth homelessness in the region
  • Around 100 young people have been diagnosed mental health problems. Mental health issues have been the most common problem beyond alcohol and drug abuse.

After a short break with tea and coffee, attendees were organised in different groups where they have discussed ideas and strategies to effectively help young people. Some of these recommendations would be used by YHNE as part its strategy for 2019 to help young people at risk of homelessness.










‘Many young people are having mental health issues as depression and anxiety due to the influence of social media. We need to show them that the life of their role models is not as perfect as it seems online’, Laura Rutter, Centre Point.

‘It is essential that members of the staff at schools and organisations who deal with young people at risk of homelessness are properly trained to avoid these mental health issues, but also to help young people with the issues they might face’, Sunderland City Council councillor, Cllr Farthing.

Essential for young homeless people in the North East

Many authorities and charities have highlighted the importance of YHNE’s report to tackle youth homelessness in the region. ‘Having studies like these are going to be very beneficial for young people to show us the type of support they need’, added Paul Tighe, representative of Your Homes Newcastle.

‘The event has been a great opportunity for networking and to put together all the charities across the region that are working with young homeless people. From the council, we have seen that this survey will help us to better use our resources and programs to assist and tackle youth homelessness’, explained Operation Manager and Housing Strategy for South Tyneside council, Anna Milner.

YHNE would like to thank all the attendees and Dr Adele Irving during this annual survey. Their input and feedback will be very valuable for future research to help young people at risk of homelessness

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