Desperate to escape: the experiences of homeless families in emergency accommodation

Desperate to escape: the experiences of homeless families in emergency accommodation

Everyone deserves the chance to have a stable home where they can put down roots and build a life for themselves, but today’s sky-high housing costs mean this is nothing more than a distant dream for many. And with millions living on a financial knife-edge, it only takes a bump in the road, like an illness or reduction in working hours, to put a family at risk of homelessness.The devastating results of the housing shortage are now being felt by over 120,000 homeless children in Britain - the equivalent of four children in every school.

Homeless children in ‘temporary accommodation’ live in a variety of places: from flats to mobile homes. But as things get even worse, more and more homeless families are forced to live in one room in ‘emergency accommodation’, sharing facilities with other families. This type of accommodation ranges from homeless bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), to cheap hotels, to hostels, to large houses filled with a family in each bedroom, Desperate to Escape: the experiences of homeless families in emergency accommodation www.shelter.org.uk 3 sharing kitchens and bathrooms with strangers1 . Five years ago – 5,731 children were living in this type of shared accommodation. Now there are 12,903 - more than twice as many.

In this report, twenty-five homeless families tell us what it’s like to live in emergency accommodation, how it affects their day-to-day life, and the impact it is having on them and their children. Shelter will continue to fight for everyone to have a safe, secure and affordable place to call home and will be there to support those who have lost the battle to keep a roof over their heads, for as long as we are needed. But ultimately, we hope we won’t still be here in another 50 years. For the sake of future generations we cannot make this someone else’s problem. Together, we all face the consequences when children are forced to grow up without a home. And together, we can fix it.

ORGANIZATION: Shelter UK
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016
LOCATION: England