18% of young people have slept rough in the UK in the past year, a shocking new poll reveals.
A poll by the homeless charity Centrepoint found that nearly one in five young people have slept rough in the last 12 months, because they have nowhere else to stay.
The charity says 15,000 young people are facing homelessness this Christmas, with more than a 1,000 beds for homeless people lost in the last year.
Homeless people are twice as likely to die as their peers, says Centrepoint, and more than 80,000 young people are at risk of becoming homeless each year.
Thousands of vulnerable young people across the UK will bed down for a night on the streets this winter, subjected to freezing temperatures and unsafe surroundings.
Seyi Obakin, Centrepoint’s Chief Executive, said: “Currently the Government does not track the number of 18-25 year olds rough sleeping nationally. Our poll proves the issue of young people sleeping rough is huge and nobody else is giving an accurate picture of the problem.
“The Government’s only data on rough sleeping does not breakdown by age and is limited to estimates and a one-night snap-shot survey. From this it’s impossible to ensure that vital support services for homeless young people are available in the right place at the right time.”
Christmas is the worst time of the year for homeless people but its problem young people face all year round, the charity says.
Centrepoint is calling on concerned members of the public to donate to its urgent appeal to help save a young person’s life this Christmas.
Last night thousands of people braved a night on the streets to raise funds and awareness for Centrepoint’s annual Sleep Out event. Money raised will be used to help provide homeless young people with a warm bed, mental health support, education and employment support.
You can make a donation to help change the life of a homeless young person at www.centrepointchristmas.org.uk/