Did you sleep well last night? It was pretty bloomin’ cold, windy and rainy out. I ask because last week was Homelessness and Poverty Action Week, which aims to not only change the perceptions of poverty and homelessness in the UK, but also hopes to make a real difference to homeless peoples lives.
Every night thousands of people are looking for somewhere to spend the night. A large number of them are hidden homeless. Sleeping on friends and families sofas or dossing on public transport. A growing number are aged between 16 and 25.
Often due to divorce or relationship breakdown, addiction and death, young people are made homeless way before they can marry, drink and before many of them have begun to live their lives. They’re made homeless through no fault of their own and recent changes to the welfare system are already having a negative impact on young people’s ability to access appropriate (if any) housing options.
One organization trying to make things easier for young homeless people is Centrepoint. This is the UK’s leading charity for young homeless people. What’s so special about what Centrepoint do? Not only do they give young people a home, but they nurture a young person by giving them skills, confident and support they need to go into the real world.
It costs money to provide such a level of support. As part of Centrepoint’s Health and Wellbeing team, the Amy Winehouse Foundation has funded £38,000 for a one-year Dual Diagnosis Specialist Worker, to provide focused intervention for young people aged 16-25 who experience problems in this area, allowing the team to integrate its current support work around substance misuse and mental health expertise.