It is alarming that the numbers of young people aged 16 to 24 in Stockport seeking homelessness support from Stockport Council leapt from 200 in 2016/17 to 373 in 2017/8 according to Centrepoint.
One of the main reasons given by young people for being in such a desperate position was because parents or relatives were no longer willing or able to look after them.
This is a trend nationally and throughout Britain in the last year more than 100,000 young people presented as homeless as they struggled to find a safe place to sleep and a permanent place to call home.
I am particularly worried about 16 to 17 year olds facing homelessness.
Children and young people need our protection and we need to think of more ways of preventing them from becoming homeless in the first place.
We need longer term good quality supported accommodation for young people who are not yet adults to give them a stable home base.
Too many young people are in poor hostel accommodation. Half of missing incidents are of 16/17 year olds from unregulated accommodation They are very vulnerable to grooming for sex or by criminals who exploit and coerce children and young people to undertake criminal activities, including running drugs in ‘County Lines’ operations.
We also need more projects like the Nightstop Network who help homeless young people find a safe place to stay, one night at a time. This is an invaluable service because it means that a young person will not spend that night on the streets, a bleak prospect, with the risk that that will turn into days and weeks.
Nobody should end their childhood on the streets.