Post from October 2016, when my team published a report into the nature of youth homelessness in the UK.
Very proud of the Centrepoint Databank team – as reported in The Independent and BBC News we have found that youth homelessness in the UK could be far higher than official statistics suggest. Local Authorities in England and Wales reported that demand for temporary housing was over eight times higher than official, statutory homelessness!
Our report investigates what happens to young people when they seek to access help because they are homeless or at risk of homelessness. How many young people are turned away with little or no support, how many access some help, how many are formally assessed to see if they qualify as ‘statutory’ or officially homeless? This is a complicated process punctuated with substantial confusion.
Through conducting our research, we have been surprised at the paucity of data out there and at inaccuracies highlighted in official homelessness figures. Our analysis is based on the most complete dataset currently available, which took 1000s of hours to collect, clean and compile.
Our overriding conclusion is that central government and local authorities are making policy in the dark. Until they have a clear picture of the problem, government can’t expect to tackle youth homelessness or give local authorities adequate funding to ensure they help young people in need.
We aim to work collaboratively and are seeking to collect and display as much data as possible on youth homelessness in order to create an open dataset that all can use. You can find the data your local authority submitted to our Freedom of Information request by going to http://isthisuseful.info/viz/charts.
If the information is missing or seems incomplete, you can ask your local authority to issue it, either by asking nicely or through a Freedom of Information request. Ours is a living, breathing project, and we will add new data to our datasets as and when we receive it. Where appropriate and practicable, we will then be releasing data received as open datasets.
If you are a local authority or a youth homelessness provider, please get in touch. We aim to collate everyone’s data for the full sector’s benefit and are building digital tools that will make this easier; please join us!
You can play with the data here: http://isthisuseful.info/viz/charts
Report here: http://centrepoint.org.uk/…/16…/0054_yhd_report_full_v12.pdf
Indy here: http://www.independent.co.uk/…/youth-homelessness-figure-ei…
BBC here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/councils-unable-to-cope-with-youth-h…