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DANGER ZONES AND STEPPING STONES: Young people’s experiences of hidden homelessness, 13/04/16 [W, E S, NI]


The homeless charity Depaul has published a report into young people’s experiences of hidden homelessness.

This in-depth study explores young people’s experiences of hidden homelessness with the aim of finding more appropriate policy and service solutions to address the associated problems. Young people often experience hidden homelessness when seeking temporary fixes, such as sofa surfing, following a breakdown in stable accommodation. These fixes are often complex, varied and sometimes unsafe.

Young people’s experiences of the different arrangements varied hugely, depending on the practical circumstances of the accommodation. The research found that many temporary arrangements were harmful and effected the young people physically and psychologically, placing them in vulnerable positions where they were open to mistreatment and exploitation. However, some temporary solutions were less harmful and more likely to help young people out of homelessness. These tended to be supportive environments with friends or family or small accommodation projects.

Depaul has made various recommendations to policymakers and commissioners as a result of the research, these include:

  • Increasing provision of preventative services, e.g. family mediation and respite accommodation
  • Providing specific accommodation suitable for young people
  • Increasing provision of emergency accommodation to support young people and help them out of homelessness
  • Awareness raising to reduce the stigma associated with homelessness

For more information and to access the full report visit the Depaul UK website.