Nearly 1,700 children in the
North West to wake up homeless this Christmas
SHELTER is launching an urgent appeal
after a new investigation conducted by the charity uncovered the harrowing
impact of homelessness on families and children in Britain.
Almost 1,700 children in the North West face spending this Christmas homeless
and in temporary accommodation, the highest level recorded since 2008, new
analysis of government figures shows.
Alarmingly, the figures also reveal that the number of families living in
emergency B&B and hostel rooms across the country has risen by a worrying 18% in
just a year, as local councils battle to find homeless families anywhere else
that is stable or affordable to go.
50 years since the housing and homelessness charity was first founded, the
country is once again in the grip of a housing crisis. With a new family in
Britain becoming homeless every 10 minutes, Shelter is calling on the public to
help support its frontline advisers as they grapple with the increasing demand
for help from families fighting to stay in their homes.
To shed light on the harsh realities of modern day hidden homelessness, the
charity carried out in depth interviews with 25 families currently or recently
living in emergency B&B's, hostels or sofa surfing. Some of the investigation's
most shocking findings included:
More than 75% of families said they felt their accommodation was unsafe, with
the worst accounts involving exposure to drug abuse, fighting, and strangers
sleeping in the corridors.
Every family lived in a single room without any space for the children to play,
and over ? of parents also had to share a bed with their children.
Three-fifths of families had to share toilet and bathroom facilities, often in a
poor and unsanitary condition, with other residents.
More than ⅔ of families said their room was in a state of disrepair,
including reports of mould, broken beds and stained mattresses, as well as more
serious hazards like sparking electrical sockets and windows that wouldn't
The investigation also revealed the emotional and mental turmoil of living in
these circumstances. 18 of the 25 families interviewed said their children's
mental and emotional health had been badly affected, with accounts of children
becoming anxious, isolated from their friends and struggling to sleep. Over
of parents said their children's development was negatively impacted.
John Ryan, Shelter Manchester hub manager, said:- "News of the devastating
rise in homeless children in the North West will bring heartache to thousands of
people in the region. But the sad fact is, fifty years since Shelter was
founded, too many families still need our help.
For the advisers at our Manchester hub it's always tragic to see parents
desperate to escape the single cramped room of a B&B or hostel that they find
themselves struggling to raise their children in. Imagine having to eat all of
your meals on the floor, share a bed with the rest of your family, or being too
frightened to leave your room at night; these are things no parent wants their
child to endure.
That's why we urgently need the public's support to help us to continue to be
there for the thousands of families in the North West who'll need us this
Christmas. Join us and together we will not rest until every homeless child has
a place to call home."
To support Shelter's urgent Christmas appeal please visit:-
Shelter.Org.UK or text:- 'SHELTER to 70555'
to donate ?3.