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Evaluating services for youth homelessness: East Kent region Holly Harris & Adrian Adams Canterbury Christ Church University UK Emmanuel Jovelin & Anne.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating services for youth homelessness: East Kent region Holly Harris & Adrian Adams Canterbury Christ Church University UK Emmanuel Jovelin & Anne."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating services for youth homelessness: East Kent region Holly Harris & Adrian Adams Canterbury Christ Church University UK Emmanuel Jovelin & Anne – Françoise Dequiré Catholique Université de Lille France

2 Overview Introduction Structure of services Methodology Location Sample Design Results Service perceptions on need and support Young people’s experiences of homelessness Young people’s reflections of homelessness Conclusions

3 Introduction Structure of services Specialist support: Substance Misuse, Basic Skills, Mediation, sexual health, outreach, training & employment Housing Support: Advice & advocacy, Individual Support Plans, Floating support/tenancy support Identifying gaps in the service provision Family breakdown is a primary cause of youth homelessness If and how are services responding to this problem?

4 Methodology Location: East Kent Canterbury, Thanet and Dover Districts Sample: 40 young homeless people (16 – 24 years old) 20 services providers 6 Strategic authorities Methods: Semi - structured and structured interviews Participant observation

5 Results 1: Service perceptions on need and support What are the main difficulties for young homeless people? What type of support would young people most benefit from?  Social isolation  Low self – esteem  Poor literacy and numeracy skills  Poor or no educational qualifications  Lack of life skills  Drug and alcohol issues  Emotional and behavioural difficulties  Basic skills training  Life skills  Anger management  Secure accommodation  A youth mentor or individual key worker

6 Results 2: Young people’s experience of homelessness – Domestic violence No, no that was about the same time when I moved into my granddad’s but I still came here anyway [young people’s drop-in centre] cos I know what my granddad’s like, he’s never lived with anyone beyond 16 so basically it ended me living there because of the fact he hit me and I hit him harder and he fell over and I was … crying Liam, 18 I couldn’t be bothered with the arguments anymore and my mum had just had enough of me I was that wild and that I needed a hiding I did I’m telling you I needed a proper beating man I was just well out of control. And my step-dad cos I got adopted when I was 18, he used to slap me a few times Lorraine, 20

7 Results 2: Young People’s Experience of Homelessness – Drugs, Poverty Um it was like basically because I was like bang on the drugs and like my mom couldn’t handle it cos I smashed up the house Laura, 19 I was thrown out by my mum because I wasn’t getting any money through and she’s on the dole so she couldn’t afford to keep me plus I always have arguments with her. I had an argument with her and she tried grounding me like keeping me in the house and I just walked out and when I pushed her out the way she said ‘if you walk out that door you don’t come back’ so I walked out and went to live with a friend Tony, 16

8 Results 2: Young Peoples Experiences of Homelessness – Transitory Existence Um I left home from my mum’s when I was 13 probably, she’s alcoholic, and moved with my dad and then I wasn’t going to school and then I got pregnant and then I moved in with my little girl’s dad. We fell out after about 4 or 5 months so I moved in with one of his friends and then I moved in with my auntie and then I moved in with my dad but he went in to care, so we were split up. Carolyn, 16 Very first time I was homeless was when I was 14/15 I didn’t agree with my parents so I went to live with a few friends and that fell through so I went back with my parents but because I’d changed that little bit, wanted my own independence that sort of thing, they didn’t like the way I was just coming and going and treating the house like a hotel so I had to go to the council and they put me in Bed & Breakfast and then this place Shane, 17 I got kicked out of a lot of places and then they social services put me in a bed and breakfast so I’ve been to-ing and fro-ing from Bed & Breakfasts to my mom’s and then to here. Sophie, 16

9 Results 3: Young People’s Reflections of Homelessness - Advice If someone’s in the position like say down at 74/76 [homeless hostel] you’re going to have to sort yourself out because like when they used to tell me what to do or like give me advice I just used to think ‘fuck it’ I don’t want to know. At that age you just don’t care because nobody cares about you, know what I mean? That’s why they’re in there ‘cos if people cared about you you wouldn’t be there – like your family I mean, your family do care, they do care about you obviously but if they too had a rough life, know what I mean? There’s always something. Dawn, 18 Appreciate your parents. Yeah because when they kick you out you realise how much they done for you and how much you have to do for yourself. Mike, 17

10 Results 3: Young People’s Reflections of Homelessness - Family It’s hard living on your own but I suppose it’s easier cos I can do what I want, go out when I want, you’re not like don’t get grounded but like when you’re on your own you don’t get to see your mom much it’s horrible but then it is easier. Charlotte, 16 I had to take up a letter from my step-mum and dad saying that I wasn’t welcome in the house anymore which was the hardest part of it all being actually handed a piece of paper from your family saying there’s no room for you Shaun, 17

11 Conclusion Lack of support for vulnerable families & adolescents Earlier intervention might prevent homelessness Young people feel the loss of family ties Need for psychological support to address young people’s needs Future Research: pressures on family, changing family structures

12 Evaluating services for youth homelessness: East Kent region Holly Harris Canterbury Christ Church University


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