Depaul UK has launched research, supported by LetterOne, into the experiences of young people affected by homelessness. The report, which was released on Thursday, 22 March 2018, is entitled Danger Zones and Stepping Stones: Phase Two, and makes recommendations based on a quantitative survey of 712 young people.
It follows up on the first Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report which was launched in 2016. The original report proposed a new approach to assessing temporary living situations, following qualitative research done with young service users.
The second phase of research has revealed the scale of harm that young people in temporary accommodation can be subject to.
Around one in five young women responding to the survey had been sexually abused or exploited whilst out of stable accommodation, and around a quarter of respondents identifying as LGBT had engaged in sexual activity in return for a place to stay.
The report was based on a survey of people aged from 16 to 25 using homelessness services across England. It found that over half of those surveyed had been harmed whilst in temporary living arrangements.
This figure rose to two-thirds of the people identifying as LGBT, 66 percent of whom had experienced harm in temporary living arrangements.
Harm done to the young people surveyed included mental, emotional, sexual and physical abuse, pressure to drink alcohol and take drugs and property being stolen or damaged.
In response to these findings, Depaul UK called on the Government to reconsider planned changes to supported accommodation. Supported Accommodation refers to housing where accommodation and support are provided together; services which the report showed are safer for young people than informal arrangements.