Homeless young people
From 2016, Coram's work with homeless young people is focusing on the hardest to reach and most vulnerable among them.
Because of our work with young people, we know that those with a care background are most at risk of homelessness. Research shows that, without the support of a family, they are 25 times more likely to become homeless than their peers, and that a third will experience homelessness in the first 24 months of leaving care.
Many become disengaged from the system that should be supporting them and are unlikely to be aware of their rights and how to access them. Coram is committed to helping these young people.
How Coram helps homeless young people
Our Homeless Outreach Project,delivered through Coram Voice, takes our advocacy services directly to homeless centres in London, to seek out hard-to-reach young people living on the streets or in other dangerous environments. Our advocates work with the individual young people to:
- Uphold their rights,
- Ensure they receive the correct legal status from their local authorities,
- Secure the housing to which they are entitled,
- Obtain the long-term support they need to escape the cycle of homelessness.
Helping young people to be secure and help themselves
In the past year, we supported 232 homeless and at-risk young people to understand their rights and helped them to access safe accommodation and services to which they are entitled. Our work also involved raising awarness of these issues among many more young people. As word about our services spreads, we have experienced an 86% increase in calls to our helpline related to accessing safe housing.
Why is homeless outreach needed?
Young people who have been in the care system as children, or who become homeless before they are 18, have a legal right to safe housing. They should also receive wider support to plan for their future, complete their education and make the transition to independent living.
But, despite these legal entitlements, local authority budget cuts are resulting in young people being denied accommodation and support leaving already vulnerable children destitute and at risk of abuse, sexual exploitation, poor health and crime.
Young people's experiences
Watch this two-minute Channel 4 news report to discover Elizabeth's experiences of being young and homeless, and the work we do to support vulnerable young people in similar situations.
Find out more about our homeless outreach
To find out more about our homeless outreach visit the Coram Voice website.