Almost 2,700 children in the North West will be homeless on Christmas Day
A shocking 2,684 children in the North West will wake up homeless and in
temporary accommodation this Christmas, a new report by Shelter reveals. Across
Britain, 1 in every 111 children is currently homeless, and with the country
still at the mercy of a worsening housing crisis, 2017 has seen the highest
numbers of homeless children in a decade.
In 2017 alone, 61% of the families helped by Shelter's frontline
services were homeless or on the brink of losing their home. With at least 7
families becoming homeless every day in the North West, the charity is calling
on the public to support its urgent Christmas appeal.
To expose the devastating reality of homelessness, Shelter carried out in depth
interviews with children and their parents living in emergency B&B's and Hostels.
This is widely considered the worst type of temporary accommodation. In the
► Every family lived in a single room which significantly disrupts the
children's ability to play, do homework and carry out any kind of daily routine.
► A quarter of families had no access to a kitchen at all, and the rest had to
make do with shared facilities. Struggling to cook meals, more than ½ of
parents said they rely on expensive and unhealthy takeaways. And ⅔ had
to eat family meals on the bed or floor of their room.
► ½ of families had to share toilet and bathroom facilities with other
households, often with filthy conditions and unlockable doors, meaning strangers
could walk in at any moment.
► Over ⅓ of parents had to share a bed with their children. ¾ say bedtimes have become difficult and
½ say their children are more
In England, where the highest number of families are placed into B&B's, 45% stay
beyond the 6 week legal limit. The charity's findings lay bare the
psychological turmoil experienced by families living in these cramped conditions
for often long periods of time, including:-
► ? of parents felt their children's mental health had been badly
affected. 1 parent said her daughter had become suicidal since living in the
► ½ of parents reported that their children's physical health had also
worsened, with incidents of bed bug infestations, and broken heating causing
children to fall ill.
► Children spoke about feeling anxious, afraid and ashamed. Several children
described School as a respite. For 1 it was the only place he felt happy,
another felt stressed at the thought of returning to her accommodation at the
end of the School day.
► Children also talked about their School work suffering because of long
journeys to School each day, poor and broken sleep, and having no space or
quiet time to do their homework.
John Ryan, Shelter Manchester hub manager, said:- "It's a national scandal
that the number of homeless children in Britain has risen every year for the
last decade. No child should have to spend Christmas without a home; let alone
more than 2,600 children in the North West.
Many of us will spend Christmas day enjoying all of the festive traditions we
cherish, but sadly it'll be a different story for those children hidden away in
cramped B&B's or Hostel rooms. Imagine living in a noisy strange place full of
people you don't know, and waking up exhausted from having no choice, but to
share a bed with your siblings or parents.That's why our frontline advisers will
continue to work tirelessly to help more families fighting homelessness. But we
can't do this alone. We're asking people to help a homeless family and make
giving to Shelter their new Christmas tradition."
To support Shelter's urgent Christmas appeal please visit:-
Shelter.Org.UK or text:-
'SHELTER' to '70080' to donate ₤3.