Race, poverty and youth homelessness

This Black History Month, we wanted to talk about the ways that race, poverty and homelessness intersect.

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This Black History Month, we wanted to raise awareness of the ways that race, poverty and homelessness intersect. Research has found that in the UK, youth homelessness has increased by 40% to 121,000 people over the past 5 years[1]. But did you know that in the UK, Black people are three times more likely to experience homelessness than their white counterparts?[2] Any experience of homelessness is devastating to young people’s lives, but these racial disparities in the UK are unacceptable.

That is why this Black History Month, we want to share some of the excellent organisations working to improve the lives and futures of young Black people in the UK that you can support this month:

  • Access UK – an organisation that provides employment and training opportunities for young BME (Black Minority Ethnic) people to achieve their potential. Their community based services help improve the education, employability, and enterprise of BME people across the UK. https://www.accessuk.org/
  • Amos Bursary – an organisation that support and empower young people of African and Caribbean heritage to achieve their academic and professional ambitions. https://www.amosbursary.org.uk/
  • Black Minds Matter – an organisation with the mission to connect Black individuals and families with free mental health services and remove the stigma surrounding mental health in the community. https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com/
  • Sistah Space –a community-based non-profit initiative created to bridge the gap in domestic abuse services for African heritage women and girls. https://www.sistahspace.org/
  • Colours Youth Network – an organisation that uplifts, empowers and supports young people of colour who are LGBTQI+ aged 16-25, to explore and celebrate who they are through meaningful connections to other young people and a team of experienced youth workers.​ http://www.coloursyouthnetwork.com/

Nick Connolly, End Youth Homelessness Managing Director has said: “Homelessness is, typically, a function of poverty but these statistics make plain the staggering inequalities that blight our society.  These inequalities run much deeper than poverty.”  

“More black children become homeless young people because; they are more likely to be removed from mainstream schools[3], they are more likely to be removed from their parents[4], they are more likely judged to have mental illness[5], and more likely to be imprisoned[6].  These facts are old news and cannot be acceptable.” 

“The organisations listed here are important but we are all responsible for making the UK a more equitable society and we at EYH are absolutely committed to that objective.” 


[2] The Big Issue: Black people in UK ‘three times as likely to experience homelessness’ https://www.bigissue.com/news/housing/black-people-are-more-than-three-times-as-likely-to-experience-homelessness/

[3] The Guardian: Exclusion rates five times higher for black Caribbean pupils in parts of England https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/mar/24/exclusion-rates-black-caribbean-pupils-england

[4] Children and Youth Services Review: Overrepresentation of Black children in the child welfare system: A systematic review to understand and better act https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S019074092032137X

[6] The Guardian: Young black people nine times more likely to be jailed than young white people – report https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/01/young-black-people-jailed-moj-report-david-lammy