When young people become homeless, the vast majority will end up staying on an informal basis with friends, other family members or strangers. At our lead partner New Horizon Youth Centre, for example, 76% of the young people who access their service are so called ‘hidden homeless’.
In March 2018 our partner Depaul UK’s published its Danger Zones and Stepping Stones – Phase 2 report. It shows the shockingly high levels of mental or emotional abuse, physical abuse, as well as sexual assault and exploitation experienced by young people in such ‘temporary living arrangements’. Young women and young people identifying as LGBT particularly suffer frequent and multiple harm when not in stable accommodation.
London Youth Gateway partners work hard to reduce such harm by supporting young people who are homeless or at risk of homeless into finding somewhere safe to stay and by providing accommodation options. Between April and December 2017 the London Youth Gateway:
- supported 496 into people supported into safe crisis accommodation, including Depaul Nightstop and specialist LGBT emergency housing provided by the Albert Kennedy Trust
- helped 503 young people to access stable accommodation, including options provided by New Horizon Youth Centre and Stonewall Housing,
- with 353 clients being assisted with safe family reconnection
Sadly demand remains incredibly high, and more safe accommodation for young people, including secure short stay accommodation and long term supported housing is needed. The London Youth Gateway does not simply ask – we also work toward developing innovative projects ourselves. New Horizon Youth Centre, in partnership with John McAslan + Partners and with the support of Deputy Mayor for Housing James Murray, has for instance launched a project to provide new, purpose-built short stay accommodation for young people in immediate housing need.
Keen to hear more about how we deliver and develop effective pan-London services to prevent homeless, and to support young people into accessing safe accommdation? Please contact the London Youth Gateway Coordinator (email@example.com or tel 020 7388 5560) and/or sign up for our quarterly e-bulletin here