More young people are at risk of homelessness due to high rents, low benefits and a lack of decent housing, homelessness charity Crisis has warned.
As the charity opens its 'Crisis at Christmas' centres today, it is launching 'Shut Out', a new campaign calling for more to be done to stop young people becoming homeless.
The numbers of young people sleeping rough in London has more than doubled in three years and new research shows 8% of 16-24 year olds report recently being homeless.
“We have a whole generation being shut out,” says Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive, “with almost a million young people unemployed, low wages and deep benefit cuts, this age group is at particular risk of homelessness.
“Many cannot even find a room to rent. We must stop young lives being devastated by homelessness by changing the way housing benefit is calculated for young people so they can actually afford a home.”
The Shut Out campaign launches as Crisis opens its doors to an expected 4,000 homeless and vulnerable people across London, Edinburgh and Newcastle over Christmas.
The charity’s centres are run by an army of 9,000 volunteers who give up their time to offer companionship, food and vital services during the holiday period.
As well as 10 centres across the capital, Crisis volunteers will be welcoming guests to their centre in Newcastle on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and in Edinburgh the charity is hosting a special day of activities on Christmas Day.
Leslie Morphy added: “Crisis at Christmas is bigger than ever this year, which is a sad indictment of the growing homelessness problem across the UK, but it’s also thanks to the huge generosity and compassion of the thousands of individuals, organisations and companies who give time, funds and goods to make Christmas happen for some of society’s most vulnerable people.”