Youth charity Centrepoint estimates that one in a hundred young people experience homelessness each year in the United Kingdom. Services and help for these young people is underfunded and oversubscribed: the Roundabout hostel in Sheffield has to turn away 15 young people a week looking for shelter due to a lack of bedspace.
The most common cause for youth homelessness in the UK is family breakdown. For many people accessing the hostel at Roundabout, this is the first time they have lived away from home while for others it is a regular bed in a cycle of appointments and emergency accommodation.
Young people must navigate a maze of social services and support systems as they seek a place to live. Roundabout tenants are helped to progress through the charity’s network of supported accommodation from the emergency hostel, through shared housing to their own tenancy.
Regular sessions in the hostel focus on living on a budget, cooking and eating healthily, and CV writing in addition to housing support. The hostel also provides advice and access to a number of training and back to work programmes.