Using data from four sets of official 2016 statistics, Shelter has compiled what they have described as a “conservative” total, adjusting down to account for any overlaps between the groups, and not offering estimates where no figures are available.
Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Shelter’s founding shone a light on hidden homelessness in the 1960s slums.
“But while those troubled times have faded into memory, 50 years on a modern-day housing crisis is tightening its grip on our country.
“Hundreds of thousands of people will face the trauma of waking up homeless this Christmas.
“Decades in the making, this is the tragic result of a nation struggling under the weight of sky-high rents, a lack of affordable homes and cuts to welfare support.”
The highest rates are to be found in the capital with and average of one in 51 homeless, rising to as many as one in 25 without a home in Westminster, but the analysis highlights several hotspots across the country in which crippling homelessness is the most severe:
- Luton – one in 63 homeless
- Brighton – one in 69
- Birmingham – one in 119
- Coventry – one in 204
- Manchester – one in 266
Sally Cowan, Executive Head of Housing and Youth at YMCA Black Country said: “We believe every young person should have a safe place to stay. Shelter’s estimates that over 250,000 people including children are without a permanent home are extremely distressing. At YMCA Black Country, we recognise the figures don’t always reflect the true picture, as ‘Hidden Homelessness’ is never fully accounted for. Many of the young people and vulnerable adults that access our services across the Black Country and Staffordshire border areas come to us having previously been staying with friends or family; some are rough sleeping and others are sofa surfing. It’s very hard to calculate the true extent of homelessness, however to us, just one young person in inappropriate, unsafe accommodation is too many and we will continue to provide services to this very vulnerable group.”
The statistics are harrowing. Shelter have also highlighted that 120,000 children will be homeless this Christmas. Here at YMCA Black Country, we provide a range of service for homeless young people. For more information please visit our Accommodation pages.
If you are desperate to see an end to youth homelessness, you can make a donation to YMCA Black Country today. Every donation has a huge impact on the lives of vulnerable Young People in the Black Country.
A one off donation of £5 would provide a hot meal and unlimited hot drinks for two rough sleepers at The Glebe Centre, our open access day centre in Walsall. A donation of £25 would secure a night’s emergency accommodation for a young person.