South Yorkshire homeless charity adds voice to national campaign to end youth homelessness

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YWCA Yorkshire has joined a coalition of over one-hundred and thirty-three organisations across the UK to end youth homelessness.

In December 2023, Shelter released a report highlighting the latest data on homelessness in local areas. Across Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, the three areas that YWCA Yorkshire manage accommodation, more than 1600 people were identified as homeless; either rough sleeping or living in temporary accommodation. This number includes more than 550 children.

On a national level, according to Centrepoint estimates in 2022-2023, 135,800 16–25-year-olds presented at their local authority as homeless or at risk of homelessness. Many young people experiencing homelessness remain hidden, not showing up in the data, so it is estimated that this figure could be double.

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The #PlanForThe136k campaign calls on the UK Government to create a national strategy to end youth homelessness. Charites, people with lived experience and community groups across the country, recognise that a cross-departmental solution is essential to tackle this crisis. Through the coalition, YWCA Yorkshire is urging the government to focus their efforts on developing a national strategy.

YWCA Yorkshire, Chief Executive, Tracy GollinsYWCA Yorkshire, Chief Executive, Tracy Gollins
YWCA Yorkshire, Chief Executive, Tracy Gollins

YWCA Yorkshire has been working with homeless young people in South Yorkshire for decades. Green Gables in Doncaster and Fleming Gardens in Rotherham have housed hundreds of young women and children since opening their doors 20 years ago. And YWCA Yorkshire have been operating Peile House in Sheffield as a homeless hostel since 1993. Young homeless women are referred to Peile House directly from Sheffield City Council. These women are single, pregnant or young mums aged 16-25. They have no other safe place to live and need trauma informed support and compassion as well as a place to call home.

YWCA Yorkshire, Chief Executive, Tracy Gollins, said: We’ve teamed up with the #PlanForThe136k coalition because we absolutely believe that ending youth homelessness requires a national strategy and cross-departmental support. We have excellent relationships with Local Authorities, housing, education, youth and homelessness services locally. We understand the difference this type of collaboration and joined-up thinking can make to people’s lives.

We’ve been working in partnership with local authorities and housing providers in South Yorkshire delivering support and accommodation within the same communities for over 30 years. We understand that it takes a whole-system and whole-community approach to combat homelessness. A national strategy that draws on the experiences of people and organisations who live and breathe this is what we need in this country today. Please help us shine a light on this my signing the petition.”

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The #PlanForThe136k campaign is calling for a cross-departmental strategy to end youth homelessness. The strategy prioritises:

  • Prevention – supporting young people to avoid crisis in the first place

  • Housing – better, safer options in place to catch and support those facing homelessness

  • Finances – fairer pay and resources so young people can build successful, independent lives

You can add your voice to the campaign and sign the petition here: