UK Public Underestimate Youth Homelessness

End Youth Homelessness’s new survey has revealed common misconceptions of youth homelessness

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EYH’s new survey has revealed common misconceptions of youth homelessness and shows that more than half of UK adults severely underestimate the scale of the UK’s youth homelessness crisis.

According to our new survey of 1,000 UK adults, 58% of people believe there are only 50,000, or less, homeless young people in the UK each year. In fact, 150,000 young people ask their local authority for help each year because they are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 33% are turned away. This is a serious problem.

The survey also shows the public’s misconceptions on the causes of youth homelessness amongst 16-25 year-olds:

  • 49% of UK adults blame addiction as one of the most common causes of youth homelessness. The realty paints a very different picture; the biggest cause of youth homelessness is a breakdown in family relationships (53%), followed by landlords terminating rental agreements (12%) and domestic abuse (10%).
  • The trauma of homelessness and the traumatic experiences homeless young people face leave them with complex mental health problems. As a result, more than 80% of homeless young people have a mental health problem, but perhaps surprisingly, only 12% of UK adults think that mental health is a common cause of youth homelessness.