Did you know that young people (18-24) made up approximately half the people accessing homelessness services in England in 2018?
According to Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank, 103,000 young people asked their local council for help in 2017/18 because they were homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Why is this such an issue? And what can be done about it?
Causes of Youth Homelessness
In general, the causes of youth homelessness can be broken down into two categories:
Structural factors cover the wider socio-economic context: lack of affordable housing, unemployment, welfare support services etc.
Personal factors are much more specific: mental health, drug abuse, family and relationship breakdown.
To find out more about what’s being done about youth homelessness in Bath, we spoke to Kat Lazenby at Bath YMCA.
Youth Homelessness Services in Bath
“Nightstop operates with “host” families, providing short term accommodation for around 1-2 nights”.
These services are particularly important for young adults. Under homelessness legislation, local councils are obliged to help those deemed “at risk”, which agewise only covers 16-17 year olds.
In a typical year, 32 young people (aged 16-17) newly present to B&NES young homeless service (this figure does not take into account those aged 18-25).
Longer Term Housing Options
Nightstop is important for short term accommodation. But what about longer term?
And the YMCA runs Platform for Life – shared houses for young people aged 18-25 who are working, training or studying, aimed at those ready to move on from supported accommodation.