Young people in YMCAs all over England have been speaking out about proposed cuts to Housing Benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds for the past few months.
Here’s what a few of them have had to say to YMCA and to newspapers all over the country.
Sam Lee, from YMCA Humber, in Grimsby: “What about the people who have no choice; what about the people who have got nowhere to go but places like the YMCA? It’s a roof over your head, which for most people, is only payable with the help of Housing Benefit. Without Housing Benefit there would be a lot more people on the streets.”
Romario, from YMCA Thames Gateway, in Romford: “My future without Housing Benefit would be an uncertain future and I wouldn’t be the person I am now without it. It’s a springboard that’s pushing me down a path I want to go down and not a path I don’t want to go down. It’s pushing me into a more independent path.” Read more about Romario.
Kelly, from Southend YMCA: “If they cut housing benefit then I’ll be back at square one again. Back on the streets…Personally I think cutting Housing Benefit is horrific. There are so many young people who need it, especially the ones living in supported housing that haven’t got anywhere else to go. I’m feeling very anxious at the minute, but I’m not the only one. Lots of other people living here are feeling worried, too.” Read Kelly’s full interview with Buzzfeed.
Perry, from Burton YMCA: “When you’re young, you need to find your feet, and Housing Benefit is a lifeline. Getting rid of it will devastate a lot of people. I’m looking for work and claiming Housing Benefit so will be directly affected if it gets cut.” Read Perry’s story in The Guardian.
Sapphire, from YMCA Black Country, in Wolverhampton: “The decision to scrap Housing Benefit for under-21s is crazy. We’re all under 21 where I live in Badger Court YMCA accommodation in Wolverhampton. If it happens, where are we meant to go? Most of us will be left on the streets.” Read Sapphire’s full interview with Buzzfeed.
Zara, from YMCA Humber, in Grimsby: “I am with YMCA because of an estrangement from my family but, if my Housing Benefit is cut, I would not be able to go back home. Instead, I would be back on the streets.” Read the rest of Zara’s blog on Housing Benefit and Apprenticeships
Rebecca, from YMCA Black Country, in Wolverhampton: “If they cut Housing Benefit for under-21s, people are going to be homeless. Didn’t they [the Government] say before that they wanted to get kids off the street and put them into hostels? And now they’re putting them back on the street.” Read Rebecca’s full interview with Buzzfeed.