Growing student homelessness issue highlighted by charities

By Liv Slomka

When people think about homelessness they usually imagine an adult sleeping rough on the streets, asking for money or food, but students and young people all over the UK are also homeless.

Between 2020 and 2021, about 122,000 16 to 24-year-olds were homeless or at risk of homelessness in the UK. But only 62 per cent of that number who were at risk of homelessness were offered support by the authorities in England and 59 per cent of cases of homelessness were not successfully prevented or dealt with. 

Those are official statistics from Centrepoint a charity that helps with youth homelessness in the UK.

(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

There are many reasons why a young person can be homeless but the main reason is that their family either cannot accommodate the young person any more or there has been a falling out/problem within the family.

Josh S, a student who did not want to be identified but was homeless over the summer of 2022, said: “I was estranged from my family just before the summer holidays, which caused a lot of problems for me.

“I had nowhere to go over the summer which meant trying to find a house over the summer.”

Josh added: “For me, being a student has helped my situation and also made it worse, as many places want an address for when you aren’t in university – a fixed ‘home’ address – which I’m not lucky enough to have at the current moment.”

At De Montfort University. there is a Homeless Outreach Society which aims to help those vulnerable to homelessness within Leicester by raising awareness on campus. 

People on campus wanting to raise awareness about student homelessness and to help those in need can support Centrepoint or the Homeless Outreach Society.

[The name of the student who experienced being homeless over the summer was changed to protect their identity at their request.]

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