People who are homeless are not just the people you see sleeping on the streets.
Many of the young people that The Rock Trust work with have slept rough – in parks, under bridges or in stairwells. Some of our young people travel to more rural areas to sleep or camp on the cycle paths. But there are thousands of other homeless young people that you may never see – the ‘hidden homeless’.
They might be:
- In temporary hostel or bed and breakfast accommodation
- ‘Sofa surfing’ – the term given to people staying on the floors and sofas of friends, family and, dangerously, just acquaintances
- In unsuitable or unsafe accommodation
There are many reasons why young people can slide into homelessness. Homelessness does not have one single cause but the contributory factors are well known and include:
- Family breakdown
- Unemployment and poverty
- Poor mental health
- Child abuse
- Drugs and alcohol
The single largest reported cause of homelessness amongst single people under 25 was relationship breakdown with family, friends or partner.
Next highest was physical or mental health problems and third was abuse or domestic violence.
The Rock Trust Chief Executive Kate Polson said:
“The Rock Trust support thousands of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in our society. Offering a stable place to stay, as well as support to build social skills, resilience and positive relationships, are very important early steps in helping people out of homelessness and with the rebuilding of their lives”.