Whilst the most unexpected people can end up homeless, there are certain groups that are more likely to fall into it.
The following facts and statistics highlight the social issue and the benefits that come from increasing the opportunity for at-risk young people to compete for homes and employment.
This is not a niche issue
- • Around half of young homeless people are not in education, employment or training (NEET) at the point of becoming homeless and many also lack independent living skills.
- • 55% of 19 year olds do not have a level 3 qualification.
- • One third of young people say that they do not have anyone to talk to. As a result, they are twice as likely to feel unable to cope with life, with half already feeling unhappy with their lives.
- • Studies show that 40% of young homeless people are likely to be experiencing depression, compared with 21% of non-homeless young people.
- • In London, involvement in gang crime was identified as a growing problem, particularly among young women. Those who use illegal drugs and those with mental health problems were the most likely to be involved or affected.
- • The younger age groups were more likely to be involved than older age groups, including more than one in five (22%) 16 and 17 year olds.
But it is a costly issue
- • Higher use of acute health services and the criminal justice system
- • Expensive Temporary accommodation with spending of at least £2.4 million per London Council extra on providing accommodation for 16-17 year olds.
- • Prolonged periods on welfare benefits - Research in 2008 by the New Economics Foundation indicated an annual cost to the state of £26,000 for each homeless person.
- • Young people who find themselves homeless are more likely to have alcohol and drug problems, more likely to self-harm, more likely to use emergency health services and face considerable barriers in accessing the care they need.
With a home and the right support, at-risk young people with a problem past can go on to become responsible employees and tax-payers, not a burden on the state. They can support themselves, be a credit to their employers and contribute to social mobility too.
Plus, reduced re-offending means reduced crime levels in communities, which benefits everyone.