Charity reports big rise in homeless young
A homelessness charity in Kent has seen the number of young people approaching its services nearly double since the start of the year.
Figures from Porchlight show the number of 16- to 24-year-olds needing help from its accommodation, floating support and rough sleeper services went up from 172 in the first three months of 2012 to 320 in the second quarter.
The number of young people accessing its services in the third quarter of the year, which is not complete until the end of this month, is currently 268.
Mike Barrett, chief executive of Porchlight, said the recession and difficulty obtaining private rented sector accommodation are the main reasons for the rise.
‘Pressure on low income families due to the impact of the on-going recession and the fact that young people can’t find employment in order to contribute to the household is leading to family breakdowns,’ he said.
‘Add to that the increasing number of private sector landlords who are refusing people on benefits and the result is a growing number of young people facing housing crisis.’
He said the situation would get worse for young people as the impact of welfare reforms and public sector spending cuts are felt.
‘What we need is a return to joined up thinking and stability for a sector that is both a safety net and a literal lifeline to those in need of housing and support,’ he said.