While most children will be looking forward to Christmas, many children like Ella are facing homelessness.
No young person should have to choose between abuse at home and homelessness. We urgently need your help to not just find those most at risk, but to provide the support they need.
Homelessness at such a fragile age has lifelong impact. Those who experience homeless in youth are less likely to stay engaged with education, find employment, access secure housing and have a higher chance of experiencing mental health problems and substance abuse.
Ella was just 15 when she fled her home because of abuse and neglect. She turned to the local authority for help but was told it was best if she stayed put. Sadly, things did not get better, and Ella turned 16 and continued to suffer at home. When things turned violent Ella felt she had no choice but to leave.
Ella was homeless in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic which meant friends were unwilling to have her in their home. Forced to sleep rough or shelter with adults she did not trust, Ella once again asked the local authority for help but she was told it was her choice to leave home and refused help. Ella was homeless and alone. Could you imagine being 16 not knowing where you will sleep from one night to the next?
A concerned teacher at her college spotted Ella’s distress and told her about Coram Voice and our ’Always Heard’ helpline. When Ella contacted us our Outreach Advocates gave Ella advice and championed her rights with the local authority who had previously rejected her claim. By escalating her case we were able to get Ella into care and ensure she got a safe and secure place to live.
Thanks to our advocates, Ella is now thriving in her new home and has the support of a social worker who understands her needs. She has the opportunity to pursue her ambitions, and will be safe and supported this Christmas. There are many more children and young people just like Ella who slip through the cracks.
“Thank you so much, you guys were the first people who listened. Everyone else said no, you changed everything.” – Ella
When you donate to Coram this Christmas, your donation could help pay for one to one support with an advocate to champion the rights of children like Ella, who otherwise face challenges many of us can barely imagine with little or no support.