We’ve been in our new home for just over a week now, and apart from a few issues with the heating it’s pretty much perfect. But as we were exchanging it occurred to me how incredibly lucky we are to always have had a roof over our heads, and for No 1 Son to always know he has somewhere safe and warm to come back to. Earlier this year I visited Kids’ Company and saw first-hand how for many kids in the UK, being at home can be a living hell. For those young people who run away, finding somewhere to go and sleep is a daily struggle. Councils have admitted they do not have the resources to support these kids, so what are their options?
Centrepoint gives homeless young people a future. The young people who they help are often victims of abuse and neglect; the charity offers them everything from teaching them basic life skills such as hygiene, cooking and budgeting, to supporting them into work or education. But the first step is giving them somewhere safe and warm they can call ‘home’. You don’t need me to tell you the psychological importance of this, as well as physical.
The figures speak for themselves. Centrepoint provides a safe place to live for more than 2,900 young people, aged 16-25, every year in London and the north east of England. But Centrepoint is more than just a room. 82% of young people move on from Centrepoint into a job, education or their own home. It’s all about giving homeless young people a chance.
How much does it cost to sponsor a room? £12 a month. £12. Not much, is it, to give a young person a clean, safe place to stay when they most need it, and give them a better future to look forward to.