Housing

Forget Black Friday, it’s Bleak Friday for 18,000 homeless young people

Youth homelessness Centrepoint has dubbed today ‘Bleak Friday’ to raise awareness of the number of youngsters spending Christmas without a place to stay

homeless

More than 18,000 young people are at risk of homelessness this Christmas, according to research by homelessness charity Centrepoint.

The youth homelessness charity has dubbed today Bleak Friday – a week on from mega-spending consumer event Black Friday – to raise awareness of the plight of young Brits aged 16-25 in the UK.

A 2.000-strong online survey found that 40 per cent of people reported seeing more young people sleeping rough in the past few years.

Christmas is a season to splurge with thousands enjoying the Black Friday deals, but for young homeless people it can be bleak, scary, and sometimes life-threatening

However, that does not tell the full story with a quarter of homeless young people sofa-surfing and 68 per cent staying temporarily with friends to avoid abusive situations.

A further three quarters of 16-25 year olds expect to feel loved and content over the Christmas period while eight out of 10 expect to spend Christmas in their family home.

But a quarter of homeless young people will not have that the same opportunity, spending the holiday with a stranger because they have nowhere to stay.

For Centrepoint Manchester hostel resident Josh, a family dispute – one of the leading causes of homelessness – led to him spending Christmas on the streets when he was 18.

“I was made homeless on Christmas day when I was 18. I was admitted to hospital in chronic pain and diagnosed with sciatica,” he said.

“A relative visited and told me that, following a family argument the night before, I was no longer welcome at home. I was discharged from hospital to the streets. I just had some clothes, my phone and my medication.

“I went to Centrepoint in Manchester where my key worker helped place me in supported accommodation, and onto a course where I could get the skills to live independently.”

Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin added: “For many, Christmas is a season to splurge with thousands enjoying the Black Friday deals, but for young homeless people it can be bleak, scary, and sometimes life-threatening.

“With the problem of youth homelessness growing, we need help now more than ever to protect these vulnerable young people and help them have a brighter New Year.”

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
How can I help homeless people during a UK heatwave?
uk heatwave
Homelessness

How can I help homeless people during a UK heatwave?

Our right to housing is dependent on our immigration status – that's the definition of racism
Homelessness

Our right to housing is dependent on our immigration status – that's the definition of racism

Academics put trackers on homeless people – what they learned could be a 'game-changer'
A homeless person is interviewed on the streets of Sutton
Rough sleeping

Academics put trackers on homeless people – what they learned could be a 'game-changer'

Activist Kwajo Tweneboa: 'We're facing the biggest housing crisis since World War II'
Housing

Activist Kwajo Tweneboa: 'We're facing the biggest housing crisis since World War II'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know

Support our vendors with a subscription

For each subscription to the magazine, we’ll provide a vendor with a reusable water bottle, making it easier for them to access cold water on hot days.