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YMCA labels youth rough sleeping stats a ‘wake-up call’ for politicians.

Responding to the news that youth rough sleeping* in London has risen by 16% in the past 12 months, Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England, said: “It should be unimaginable that any young person has to spend a single night sleeping rough in this country.

“However, figures released today show that 871 people aged 18 to 25-years-old slept rough in London 2014/15, a rise of 16% from the past year and by 40% since 2011/12.

“While young people make up only a small percentage of those identified through this research, this has the potential to rise significantly with the proposed removal of Housing Benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds.

“These figures should act as a wake-up call to the Government, not only to reduce current levels of rough sleeping but also to prevent any further increases that could result from cutting Housing Benefit.

*Figures relate to the numbers of 18 to 25-year-olds seen sleeping rough by street outreach teams in London between April 2014 and March 2015. These figures have been compiled in the latest Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) report, commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by homelessness agency, St Mungo’s Broadway.

For the purposes of CHAIN, a person is counted as having been seen rough sleeping if they have been encountered by a commissioned street outreach worker bedded down on the street, or in other open spaces or locations not designed for habitation.

The CHAIN report also shows that rough sleeping in London has increased by 16% in the past year, with 7,581 people seen rough sleeping in 2014/15, compared to 6,508 in 2013/14.

The full CHAIN report can be seen here.

For further information or interviews, please contact Andy Mortimer on 020 7186 9543.

Notes to Editors

  • Founded in 1844, YMCA in England is made up of 114 member YMCAs working to ensure that young people have opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to their communities.
  • YMCA operates in over 530 different communities in England impacting upon the lives of over 600,000 people every year.
  • YMCAs provide almost 10,000 beds for young people every night. YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of safe, supported accommodation for young men and women.
  • YMCA enables nearly 43,000 people every year to engage in education, skills and training to enable them to improve their opportunities in the job market.
  • YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of health and wellbeing services promoting physical activity.