Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report

June 15th, 2016

Depaul UK launched the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report on hidden homelessness, at an event in Parliament on 19 April 2016, hosted by the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP and Kate Hoey MP.

At the launch, Depaul UK President Sir Trevor McDonald spoke movingly of the plight of young people without a place to call home, and Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown talked about the report's recommendations and interviewed two of the young people, one from North Tyneside and the other from South London, who had contributed to it.

The event's press release is below, and the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones full report, its Appendices and the Executive Summary on its own can be downloaded from the links at the bottom of this page.

 

SIR TREVOR McDONALD CALLS FOR NATIONAL DEBATE ON HIDDEN HOMELESSNESS

Depaul UK President Sir Trevor McDonald today (19 April 2016) has called for a national debate on hidden homelessness.

He helped launch the youth homelessness charity’s report Danger Zones and Stepping Stones, which exposes the problem of hidden homelessness – so-called ‘sofa surfing’ – and demands the issue is taken more seriously.

The launch event, hosted by former Conservative Minister the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP and Labour MP Kate Hoey, was also addressed by Homelessness Minister Marcus Jones MP and Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown.

In a packed room at Westminster, Sir Trevor said: “The young people interviewed for this report experienced very dangerous situations in their attempts to stay off the streets, including staying with strangers while constantly in fear of assault, lodging with an uncle addicted to hard drugs, going to all-night parties with predatory men or suggesting ‘sleepovers’ to school friends simply to find a place to stay. 

“These experiences are often termed ‘sofa surfing’, a phrase which does not adequately capture the high levels of risk young people are experiencing.”

He added: “This vital report is just the beginning: Depaul UK is making clear recommendations aimed at preventing young people from enduring these experiences and is today calling for a national debate on hidden homelessness.”

Homelessness Minister Marcus Jones MP welcomed the Depaul UK report, saying: “The causes of youth homelessness are highly complex and this report makes an important contribution to our understanding.”

Speaking at the launch, the Minister added: “The Government is working extremely hard to boost homelessness prevention and this report will inform our thinking. . . it will provide a valuable insight and inform our work with a number of charities within the [homelessness] sector.”

Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said: “We exist to make youth homelessness a thing of the past.

"Our report shows that one size does not fit all when helping young people who find themselves without a place to call home.

“No young person should have to stay in an unsafe place. In the report, we have developed the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones Model to help identify where the dangers lie, and the stepping stones to getting young people out of homelessness.”

The report includes recommendations that policymakers and commissioners of homelessness services provide more preventative services, such as family mediation and short respite accommodation; ensure there is adequate young person-specific accommodation; increase the provision of emergency accommodation; take steps to reduce the stigma of homelessness; and boost the capacity of potential temporary safe-and-secure living hosts to help young people to escape homelessness.

Homelessness Minister Marcus Jones MP said: “I welcome this report by Depaul UK which makes an important contribution to the discussion about youth homelessness.

"We will take its findings on board and participate in the public debate about ‘sofa surfing’ and hidden homelessness. I believe that together we can find solutions for young people who fall into homelessness.”

The report, based on detailed interviews with young people facing homelessness, was supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

  • Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report

    A PDF of Depaul UK's Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report, launched in the Palace of Westminster in April 2016

    Download

  • Appendices of Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report, April 2016

    A PDF of the Appendices of the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report, published in April 2016

    Download

  • Executive Summary of the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report, published in April 2016

    A PDF of the Executive Summary of the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report, published in April 2016

    Download

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