Our client survey, ‘Everything Stopped’, has found that the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on young people facing homelessness.
We conducted a survey completed by 116 young people, and found they were being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Fifty-eight percent of the people surveyed suffered increased anxiety because of their financial situation during the pandemic, and almost three-quarters (74 percent) had been isolated from family and friends. Around six out of 10 (59 percent) said their mental health had suffered because of Covid-19.
Almost a third (32 percent) said they had faced difficulties in finding enough food during lockdown. Of these, more than four-fifths (83 percent) said that the pandemic had had a negative impact on their mental health while 89 percent were unemployed and, therefore, dependent on state benefits for their upkeep.
Of the 116 survey respondents, 27 were in employment prior to Covid-19. Of this number, 15 lost their jobs as a direct consequence of the pandemic, four had their hours reduced and six were furloughed. Only two of the 27 managed to maintain their employment at the level it was before the pandemic.
Depaul CEO Mike Thiedke said: “Our survey and report, ‘Everything Stopped!’, shows just how serious this pandemic has been for young people experiencing housing instability.
“Over the past nine months, Covid-19 has presented great challenges to our services and the young people we support. It is absolutely crucial that we listen to the voices of the young people we work with and help alleviate the shocking impact the pandemic has – and will continue to have – on their lives.
“Among the recommendations that we are making to the Government are that it ring-fences a proportionate allocation for young people of any future funding for long-term move-on accommodation, creates a new national youth homelessness prevention strategy and makes the £20 uplift in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit permanent, extending it to people on other income replacement benefits.”
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