Youth homelessness in the United Kingdom has jumped 40 percent in five years, a U.K. charity said.
Seyi Obakin, the chief executive of Centrepoint, the U.K.'s leading youth homelessness charity, said there are more than 120,000 homeless youths in the country. From 2016 to 2017, that number was 86,000.
Obakin says Centrepoint’s helpline has received a record number of calls since the start of the pandemic. He also added that Black British youth could be disproportionally affected by homelessness.
An analysis from The Guardian argued that England's Black population is about 3.5 percent of the total population, but of those that are homeless or at risk of homelessness, Black households make up 10 percent.
In London, the Black population is about 12.5 percent of the total city's population, but 30 percent of those owed homelessness prevention or homelessness relief are Black households.
"It is not surprising that black households are overrepresented in official homelessness statistics, but this does not mean we should tolerate it. Without a home, children's development and educational attainment suffers, and it becomes harder to find a job or stay healthy or maintain relationships that enable people to thrive," Obakin said.
"The problem is worse than it was a decade ago, and it’s actually worse than it was two years ago," Obakin said. "It is heartbreaking to see the range of complex issues that young people are presenting with is also getting wider. That in a way is a mirror of what’s happening in society itself."
A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: "The government is helping prevent more young people from becoming homeless, and this year we’ve invested £750m to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
"During the pandemic, we made huge progress to bring rough sleepers off the streets, helping over 37,000 people into safe and secure accommodation, including 26,000 who have already moved into longer-term accommodation."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Penny Tweedie
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.