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Britain’s Homeless Youth Population Increases

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Britain’s Homeless Youth Population Increases

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Growing numbers of young people ages 16 to 24 are homeless according to a national British charity report.

Researchers from the organization, Homeless Link, found that almost half of the homeless-assistance institutions surveyed “have seen an increase in young people seeking help” due to “relationship breakdowns with family and friends,” according to the report “Young and Homeless.”

The charity wrote in a statement that “48% of homeless agencies reported turning away young single homeless people because their resources were fully stretched…”

A 17-year-old girl told Sky News that she “counts herself lucky to have a part-time job, but has spent the past year sleeping rough [spending the night on the street] or borrowing friends’ sofas in southeast London.” She continued, “I wake up in the morning and I don’t know where I’m going to be staying next…I do feel ashamed that when people ask me whereabouts do you live, and I have to say I don’t.”

Paul Marriott, chief executive of the nation’s largest charity for homeless youth, Depaul UK, said in the Homeless Link release that the results “sadly come as no surprise…Depaul UK has begun to see a rise in rough sleeping among young people in some parts of the country and we expect this to continue to rise given the continuing squeeze on household income and public expenditure.”

Lorna Esien, director of operations of St. Basils, which provides support services for homeless youth, agreed.

“For the first 6 months of this 2011, we saw 2289 young people which is a significant increase on 2010,” she said in the same release. “Over 30% were aged 16/17 and nearly 80% were Not in Education, Employment or Training.”

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