Sleeping rough isn’t a lifestyle choice

As Kids Under Cover CEO Jo Swift says: “It’s a grave misconception young people become homeless by choice. The reality is vastly different: homelessness occurs when there is simply no other option. For these young people, their living situation has become emotionally and often, physically unbearable.” This is even more pertinent when, in the UK parliament, Baroness Williams causes a furore by suggesting homeless people “choose to sleep rough”. Paul Noblet, from youth homeless charity Centrepoint reinforces Kids Under Cover’s key message that for most under-25s, sleeping rough isn’t “a lifestyle choice, they simply have nowhere else to go”. Matthew Downie, from homeless charity ‘Crisis’ adds: “Our research & experience tells us just how dangerous rough sleeping is: the average age of death for someone sleeping on the streets is just 47, while rough sleepers are 13 times more likely to be a victim of violence.” Howard Sinclair, chief executive of homeless charity and housing association St Mungo’s, added: “No-one sets out to sleep rough. Rough sleeping is harmful and dangerous, and even takes lives. We believe no one should be sleeping on our streets.

“Recent rises in the number of people sleeping rough are simply shocking.
“The reality is that people end up on the streets for a number of complex and interrelated reasons, including mental health, relationship breakdown, loss of a job or tenancy and substance use.”

Click on the image below to watch the discussion

YouTube video of Baroness Williams talking about homelessness

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