Homeless youngsters seven times more likely to have been runaways
12 April 2011
Compelling new evidence of the link between children who run away from home and future homelessness has been published today by Shelter Scotland.
Its latest research shows that 84% of today’s young homeless people in Scotland under 25 years old ran away at least once before they were 16 years old, compared with an 11% average for young people generally.
In ‘Running Away and Future Homelessness – The Missing Link?’ (2) the housing and homelessness charity also says 20% of the runaways who are now homeless first ran away before they were 11 years old.
Other findings of the research show 20% had run away 10 times or more, 67% had run away more than once and two out of every three runaways who later became homeless said they had slept rough. The research also illustrates the direct link between troubles at home and school and running away.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, says:
“These figures show that the children who run away from home today are much more likely to become the young homeless people of tomorrow.
“By continuing to fail those children who feel their only option is to run away, we are guilty of creating a society where lost life opportunities and squandered potential thrive.
“It is clear that helping to prevent young people running away would have real social benefits, not only in reducing the number of runaways, but preventing future homelessness and ensuring brighter futures for vulnerable youngsters.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
2. Homeless young people between the ages of 16 and 24 years old were surveyed. Report available at: http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/professional_resources/policy_library/policy_library_folder/running_away_and_future_homelessness_-_the_missing_link
3. Spokespeople are available for interview - telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
4. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk