26 March 2020

Parental eviction due to family breakdown is still a primary cause of homelessness in young people and we’re concerned that the current COVID-19 crisis is already leading to increasing numbers of vulnerable young people facing homelessness.

Rachel Brett, our Director of Children and Young People, explains:

“This morning, we had nine young people present as homeless, with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) being cited as a cause. We expect this number to grow as we are likely to be asked to increasingly restrict our movements and remain at home over a longer period of time.

We are aware that our ability to find housing solutions for young people presenting as homeless has become seriously compromised. It’s challenging to find relatives who are willing or able to take them and the supply of young people’s supported accommodation is under pressure.

We are all now facing a national emergency.  It’s vital during this very difficult time that young people and parent carers are able to support the national effort by working together and supporting each other as best they can over the next few weeks of confinement. None of us wants to see more young people put at risk through potentially having to sleep rough because of family breakdowns.

Our Youth Advice Centre (YMCA YAC) in Brighton & Hove works on behalf of the council to provide a single point of access for young people in housing need under the age of 25. The young people that contact YAC have diverse and complex needs including mental health issues, lack of money, drug and alcohol dependency and relationship issues. The way we are being asked to exercise social distancing, reduce our contacts and shield the elderly and those with health conditions is beginning to take its toll on what are already fragile relationships.

As a community, we’re all managing a lot of anxiety as we adjust to a new way of living and being together. Parents and young people are coming into conflict as tensions between siblings grow. Young people are not fully understanding the need to practise social distancing, still wanting to meet in groups to socialise as they normally would. Young people living with grandparents are not fully appreciating the spread of infection and therefore are being asked to find alternative accommodation, as well as young people who are currently sofa-surfing being asked to leave other households who want to exercise greater precautions.

We have moved YAC online and details of how to contact them are below alongside other services which may be useful:

YMCA YAC (Youth Advice Centre) Brighton & Hove

We will continue taking referrals both via telephone and online.

Housing advice & Support and Advice will continue via digital means and telephone support (in emergencies face-to-face).

Family mediation will continue via Zoom video conferencing and telephone support.

Floating support will continue via digital means and telephone support.

Telephone01273624432

Emails for each service:

YAC Brighton Housing Advice –  yacbrightonhousingadvice@ymcadlg.org

YAC Family Mediation –  YAC.FamilyMediation@ymcadlg.org

YAC Brighton Support and Advice  yacbrightonservices@ymcadlg.org

YAC Social Media:

Facebook

Instagram

Links to Additional Support Services:

Mental Health & Wellbeing Services