Danger Zones and Stepping Stones: Phase Three is a report presenting the findings of the third and final phase of our research project investigating how to better protect and support young people experiencing homelessness.

An introduction from Sir Trevor McDonald

Three years ago we launched Danger Zones and Stepping Stones. In 2020, we’re sharing the third and final part of the report, which provides important new diagnostic tools for addressing the issue of homelessness.

Homelessness remains as big an issue today as it was when the first report was published, but we have learned more about the impact homelessness can have on the lives of the young people it affects.

We know that many people first become homeless between the ages of 16 and 24, and that this can make escaping homelessness in later life more difficult.

This latest research provides professionals with the tools to help young people to step out of the ‘danger zones’ and into places of safety.

With sincere thanks to LetterOne for sponsoring this research.

Our findings

The Danger Zones and Stepping Stones project concluded that while there was some indication that certain living arrangements (for instance, living with strangers) may pose a greater risk than others (for example, supported accommodation), there were ‘good’ and ‘bad’ arrangements within all categories.

We believe that within the homelessness sector, we need to get better at assessing Temporary Living Arrangements so that we can protect young people from harm and move them towards safer, more stable environments.

King's story

King felt overwhelmed when he was given accommodation in a hostel with other clients much older than himself, where facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens were shared.

Being unable to access the internet easily made him feel isolated.

“It felt like three years.” King said. “It was only one year, but it felt like three years.”

King found that his mental health improved when he moved into a Depaul UK property, with other residents his own age, and that all-important WiFi access!


Please download the full Danger Zones and Stepping Stones: Phase 3 report below, along with diagnostic tools developed as part of the research.

These tools will be available free of charge for a period of six months.

Executive Summary Full report

Download tool for homelessness services

Download tool for young people

Download tool for service providers