St. Basils is proud to announce its participation as a member of a powerful coalition of youth and homelessness charities calling on all political parties to have a strategy to end youth homelessness. So far, over 100 charities across the UK have signed up to this call with more set to follow.
In the past year alone, 129,000 16–25-year-olds* across the UK sought help from their local councils to prevent or solve homelessness, equating to approximately 353 young people approaching councils daily. Shockingly, that’s a new young person every four minutes left exposed vulnerable to the harmful effects of homelessness. This unacceptable reality compels us to demand better and strive for lasting solutions.
Jean Templeton Chief Executive of St Basils said, “ What do we want for young people? We want them to feel cared about, to have trusted support, somewhere safe, suitable and affordable to live that enables them to learn and to work. Homelessness should not be part of growing up for any child or young person.”
The actual scale of youth homelessness extends far beyond the reported figures. Many young people do not even reach out to their councils, and countless others fall into the category of hidden homelessness, navigating between temporary stays with friends and the constant fear of ending up on the streets. Frontline charities report that only about half of those utilising their services have engaged with their council, indicating that the true extent of youth homelessness in the UK is significantly higher.
There is no comprehensive national plan in place to address youth homelessness. There is no national Youth Housing offer or pathway. We know that the link between Homes and Jobs is a critical protective factor, particularly for young people. Young people’s experiences of homelessness differs from other age groups, it requires tailored solutions to address their unique challenges. We are aware of what works, which is why we are calling for a national cross-government strategy to effectively end youth homelessness.
Any proposed strategy should prioritize the following areas:
- Prevention – supporting young people to avoid homelessness crises in the first place.
- Housing – establishing better, safer options to identify and support those facing homelessness.
- Finances – ensuring fairer pay and resources are available to empower young people to build successful, independent lives.
Jean Templeton continued “As a coalition of homelessness and youth organisations, we appeal to major political parties to talk to us and adopt our strategy to end youth homelessness as a vital commitment within their manifestos. We firmly believe that by joining forces and rallying behind this comprehensive strategy, we can instigate tangible change and create a society where every young person has a secure and promising future”.