Centrepoint has been supporting young people for over fifty years. Since starting out as a night shelter in 1969, our work with young people has become much more rounded – helping them to get healthy and stay healthy; to re-engage with education and training; to acquire important skills for life; to get into and stay in employment; and to move on into a home of their own.
Over the past strategic period we have grown our impact to support nearly 20,000 young people a year, compared to 8,000 in 2015. With the establishment of the Centrepoint Helpline in 2017, the support we offer directly to young people spans the whole country, and more than half of the young people we support are outside of London.
We are proud of the part we have played in giving homeless young people a future. But now we face new and even greater challenges. More than 100,000 young people approach their Local Authority every year because they are homeless or at risk. The gap between the number of houses needed to ensure everybody has a decent home and the stock of houses is over 1 million homes. Youth unemployment is rising at a greater rate as a result of the global pandemic. We are in a mental health crisis, with mental health issues reported in over half (54.1%) of homeless young people.
Centrepoint is needed more than ever before. But we need to make sure everything we do takes us one step closer to ending youth homelessness, so young people in the future do not need to go through these unnecessary and devastating crises.