Depaul UK’s Life on the Streets report shows the lasting damage that rough sleeping does to the lives of young people. It also presents new evidence to explain how a shortage of affordable accommodation causes and prolongs street homelessness.

The report has been published at the same time as the Government’s new rough sleeping strategy. Depaul UK welcomes this strategy, but as the report shows, the Government needs to do much more to meet its commitment to end rough sleeping

Life on the Streets presents, in their own words, the experiences of ten vulnerable young people who were left to fend for themselves on the streets.

Twenty one year old Samantha was arrested, and went to desperate lengths to secure a roof over her head. Samantha said: “When I was speaking to the probation person in the court, she was telling me: ‘They will probably give you community service.’ I was like, ‘Please, I can’t do community service. I want to go to jail. I want to know that I have somewhere to stay.’”

Isobel was rough sleeping aged 16. She became pregnant on the streets and hooked on drugs. Chris was in a serious motorbike crash, lost his job and room and found himself sleeping rough while nursing his injuries.

Research included in Life on the Streets also found that, in the 40 local authorities with the highest number of 18 to 25 years olds sleeping rough, only 57 private rented rooms were available to the 225 young homeless people sleeping on the street every night.

The report presents recommendations on how the Government can prevent youth homelessness and rough sleeping. These include investing in accredited emergency accommodation, such as Nightstop services and ensuring more affordable accommodation is available to young people claiming housing benefit.

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Find out more about the work Depaul UK does and how you can get involved as a volunteer or as a fundraiser.

You can download the full Life on the Streets Report here.

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