Roundabout joins national campaign for youth homelessness action

15th February 2024

South Yorkshire youth homelessness charity Roundabout has pledged its continued support for the nationwide campaign to tackle the escalating national youth homelessness crisis.

In the past year alone, an estimated 135,800 16 to 25-year-olds across the UK went to their local council for help because they were facing or already experiencing homelessness.

The fear is, though, that many young people experiencing homelessness remain hidden and do not show up in official data - and the official number is likely to be significantly higher.

That’s why Roundabout has joined with 120 of the UK’s biggest youth and youth homelessness charities to tackle the crisis.

The collective, which includes national charities such as Centrepoint and YMCA and regional organisations like Roundabout - along with other services and specialist providers - has united to call on the government to commit to a cross-departmental strategy to end youth homelessness.

The #PlanForThe136k campaign is calling on the public to support a parliamentary petition to force a response from ministers.

With their wealth of experience and evidence behind them, the charities are spreading a message of practical hope, calling for a systems change to stem the escalating crisis.

Key areas include prevention - supporting young people to avoid homelessness crises in the first place - providing better housing opportunities and ensuring that fairer pay and resources are available to empower young people to build successful, independent lives.

Together, the collective is calling for the major political parties to commit to the strategy in their General Election manifestos and for government to adopt the proposed strategy. 

Roundabout Chief Executive Ben Keegan confirmed that there had been a steep rise in the number of young people needing the charity’s support in the past year.

“We have been supporting young people for more than 40 years and this is the busiest we have ever been,” he said.

“We’ve taken over former student accommodation just to help meet the ever-growing demand from young people in desperate housing need in our region.

“Roundabout, of course, already has a major and important presence across South Yorkshire, supporting vulnerable young people at many levels.

“We now support well over 380 young people aged 16 to 25 every day, providing emergency accommodation in our hostel for those most at risk, supporting young people in residential projects in Sheffield and Rotherham and providing key services delivering comprehensive programmes of training, involvement and empowerment which help to prepare young people for independent living.

“Our Homeless Prevention Advice service, based in Sheffield city centre, offers support to young people who are homeless, or who are at risk of becoming homeless, listening and giving advice about available housing options, from planned moves to emergency accommodation.

“The reality is, though, that more than 5,000 people, including 2,000 children, are currently recorded as homeless in the Yorkshire and Humber region. 

“And with private rents and living costs continuing to spiral, thousands of young people are not just facing a future filled with worry but are also at risk of losing any safe space they might have had.

“That is why Roundabout has joined forces with fellow organisations across the UK to demand that action is taken now at the highest level.”

To sign the #Planforthe136k petition visit planforthe136k.org.uk

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