Youth Homelessness In U.K

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Youth Homelessness in U.K

Youth Homelessness in U.K

Youth Homelessness in U.K

'Homelessness' is essentially a discretionary term and is defined in different ways for different reasons. In this context, however, 'homelessness' is defined as: not being in, nor having immediate or easy access to secure accommodation. Although the initial interest of the funding body was young runaways, it soon became increasingly clear that the issue of 'homelessness' amongst young people presented a more extensive problem (Anderson 1993). Homeless people are at relatively high risk for a broad range of acute and chronic illnesses. Precise data on the prevalence of specific illnesses among homeless people compared with those among nonhomeless people are difficult to obtain. But there is a body of information indicating that homelessness is associated with a number of physical and mental problems.

This paper will explore the reasons, statistics and existing policies on combating youth homelessness in U.K. and provide necessary recommendations for improving the current state of youth homelessness.

Essay Question

Do the current policies and measures on combating youth homelessness offer a long term solution?

There are many reasons why people become homeless. Often homeless people carry the baggage of abuse, poor education and lack of motivation. Those who make up the majority of homeless people, and who are the most vulnerable, are teenagers coming out of care, people who have left the armed forces, ex-prisoners, people with mental health problems, those from broken marriages and relationships, physically abused women or abused young people leaving home and lone parents with their children on low income or on benefits. Single men are numerically at the top of the list, but they are at the bottom when it comes to priority for housing. They make up the majority of street sleepers. And once on the streets their problems are compounded (Anderson 1993). Many start drinking or taking drugs, or are already addicted, and their ability to remain motivated gradually disappears. Invisible and marginalized, they are more likely to suffer illness, they are not able to eat properly or economically. They are cut off from their families. Besides unemployment and poverty, the bricks and mortar issue is a major contributor to homelessness.

Historically, the British housing problem has consisted of t1e fact that there are far more households than dwellings. Social house building never caught up with housing needs after the Second World War when the shortage of dwellings was estimated at something over 2 million (Shinn 2001). From the 1960s to around 1990, the numbers of people accepted annually as homeless, that is in temporary accommodation, by local authorities in Britain, multiplied between ten— and twentyfold, depending on the area Housing aspirations changed too, as young people starting families did not wish to remain in their parents' home. They wanted a home of their own. And by the 1990s, many people decided to live alone. These factors created further pressure on the housing stock.


The triggers of rural homelessness commonly include relationship breakdown, family or friends no longer being able or ...
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