Centrepoint, the charity for homeless young people, has launched its Christmas appeal, highlighting the desperate measures that homeless people aged 16-25 take to try to get off the streets.
Centrepoint’s national advertising campaign reveals that young people turn to self-harming, prostitution and committing crimes as desperate if short-term solutions to their housing problems.
The campaign is based on research for Crisis by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, originally conducted n 2010 and 2011.
“At least she has some options”
The newspaper adverts highlight these options in tick-box format, suggesting that Chloe, the young woman featured, “has some options” It’s just that these options are dire. The research for Crisis reveals:
• Almost a third of homeless young people (28%) have committed a minor crime, such as shoplifting or antisocial behaviour, in the hope of being taken into custody for the night.
• 18% have attempted to admit themselves to A&E to spend a night in hospital
• 11% have entered into a sexual partnership in order to get a bed for the night . One in four young women have engaged in sex work specifically in order to fund accommodation and have a place to sleep.
Matt Wilk, Head of Marketing and Communications at Centrepoint, said:
“Homeless young people are taking huge risks to get off the streets. We felt compelled to illustrate these harrowing and upsetting situations in our Christmas ad campaign to demonstrate how vital public donations are at this time of year”.
Centrepoint is encouraging people to donate this winter, focusng on £15 as the amount that “could give a young homeless person a warm, safe room, hot meal and support in rebuilding their life.
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