Young people sleeping rough no longer ignored

Posted on: 5 September 2022

We’re happy to see a strong start towards evidence based solutions, a commitment to the specific responses needed for young people who become homeless and we have guidance for how this can best be strengthened and sustained.

We welcome the Government’s updated Rough Sleeping Strategy, published on 3rd September, and its renewed commitment to end rough sleeping by 2025. We are particularly pleased to see the long-overdue recognition of the specific needs and experiences of young people, with a series of tailored priorities to this more under-served/at risk group. However, without a bolder response to the cost of living crisis, we’re warning that its prevention objectives will not be met.

We have long campaigned that young people who find themselves sleeping rough have different experiences and needs and require youth-specific solutions. As such we are delighted to see £2.4 million committed to precisely this via the 2022-25 Rough Sleeping Initiative. Part of this funding will support our emergency accommodation provision for under-25s sleeping rough, and we look forward to working with Depaul UK, Greater London Authority and DLUHC on the continued roll out of this Youth Hub in London in the year ahead.

We are also pleased to see youth-specific provision becoming a priority in the new Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme with a commitment to ensure that young people will benefit from the £200 million set aside for new move-on homes. We look forward to seeing plans as they are announced.

We think the Government is absolutely right to focus it Rough Sleeping Strategy on prevention – which is also key to making rough sleeping rare, brief, and non-recurrent.

Preventing rough sleeping will however be challenging. The pandemic disproportionally impacted young people in terms of their mental health, employment, housing, and longer-term social mobility. With lower Universal Credit allowance and National Living Wage, under-25s are now also at extreme risk of bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis. More resources and tailored policies will be necessary to meet the Government’s rough sleeping prevention agenda – this winter, and beyond. We’ll keep campaigning and sharing best practice to fight for that.

For more detailed information and our guidance on how the government could best build on this strong start,download our full response here.

For more information or to connect over how to best support young Londoners experiencing homelessness, please contact Marike Van Harskamp, our Head of Policy, Learning and Communications via [email protected]

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