75,000 homeless Christmas children

First published in National © by

Seventy-five thousand children will wake up homeless on Christmas Day, housing charity Shelter has warned.

New figures have revealed that more than two children in every primary school in Britain will be homeless over the festive period - enough children to fill 333 primary schools.

The charity said the number of homeless families in Britain has been "rising steadily over recent months" and the number of families with children forced to live in B&Bs has also increased by 57% over the past year.

Shelter's helpline and local advice centres helped more than 1,000 people at risk of becoming homeless over the festive period last year and now the charity is launching an emergency Christmas appeal for public support.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "It's easy to think of homelessness as single people sleeping rough. What people don't often consider is the rising numbers of families who, through no fault of their own, have lost their home and have no permanent roof over their heads. For people with children, 'sofa surfing' with friends and family often just isn't a realistic option."

He said the main triggers for homelessness include relationship breakdowns, job losses and landlords ending renters' tenancies.

He added: "No child should be homeless at Christmas. Every December, Shelter's helpline and advice centres deal with thousands of people at risk of losing their home. We need everyone's support in the coming months so our advisers can help prevent families from becoming homeless, and help them into a home if the worst should happen," he said.

A spokesman from the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "This country has one of the strongest homelessness safety nets in the world and the bigger picture is that homelessness is actually lower than for 28 of the last 30 years.

"But there is always more that can be done. That's why we have recently set out a cross-Government approach to ensuring that anyone at risk of homelessness gets help at the earliest possible stage to prevent them from losing their home.

"The Government is also investing £400 million in homelessness prevention over four years, and last year provided an additional £70 million."


Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree