Recently, Church Housing Trust’s Director Miriam Morris appeared on television to comment on statistics from Crisis that claimed Government figures on homeless youth are far from accurate.
You can watch the segment and read her full statement below:
“Government statistics on youth homelessness only count how many young people are eligible for help. To be eligible for help you need be under 18, or to have been in care, or to have a child – so most young people are not eligible for any help at all.
“Research published by Centrepoint shows that every night there are probably around 300,000 young people sleeping on friend’s sofas, in cars, in abandoned buildings, in parks and on the streets.
“Young people can be without a home for many reasons. Maybe their parents have died, moved, remarried, or simply don’t have room. Maybe they don’t get on with their parents. Maybe they have been neglected or abused. Maybe the young person has moved away in order to find work. Housing is too expensive for young people on low wages. Housing benefit only covers a room in a shared house, and there are very few rooms available. On Wednesday, the Chancellor announced that young people under 21 will not receive any housing benefit at all.
“Sleeping on a sofa may be OK for a while, but it doesn’t provide the space or stability people need in order to build a life. But for the young people who end up sleeping rough, there are real dangers. We know from the people we help, that once on the streets people suffer isolation, mental breakdown, addiction, ill-health, abuse and a complete separation from normal life. Once someone has been on the streets it can take years for them to rebuild their lives.
“All of our young people are precious, we must protect, cherish and nurture them. After all, they are our future.”
Director, Church Housing Trust