An alliance of leading social care charities and major private sector organisations has been launched to combat youth homelessness.
Launching officially at the House of Commons tomorrow, 12 organisations including Centrepoint, Relate, the Prince's Trust, Business in the Community (BITC) and HSBC form the End Youth Homelessness Alliance (EYHA).
EYHA seeks to be the largest and most influential collaboration in the field of youth homelessness, pooling experience to influence government at both a national and local level. It claims this is the first time that the UK voluntary sector and private businesses have joined forces to tackle youth homelessness.
The alliance will also bring together the organisations' individual schemes which tackle the root causes of homelessness, from education and employment to health, housing and family support, under one banner.
The group is chaired by HSBC's Robert Gray, chairman of debt finance and advisory. Announcing the launch, he said:
“Despite the significant efforts of the public and voluntary sector with various national and local government strategies, youth homelessness is on the increase. It is happening right across the country, in our urban centres, but also in our rural communities. A major reason for this is the complex nature of the root causes of the problem and the need for greater awareness of those causes. The Alliance aims to ensure government, the public, private and voluntary sectors work with young people to develop real opportunities.
“A key message the Alliance has for society at large is the enormous ongoing cost of youth homelessness to the country at large in terms of the blighted lives that young people who experience homelessness all too often go on to lead. For instance, they will often struggle to complete qualifications, gain employment and maintain relationships and overall be less able to contribute to society. Currently the door not only to a stable home but also the door to a brighter future is firmly closed in too many young people’s faces."
Centrepoint has long been a proponent of ending youth homelessness, and included the alliance in its 2013 to 2015 business plan. It aims to secure 15 policy changes in local authorities within which Centrepoint operates; persuade the three main political parties to adopt any two of the EYH campaign key asks in their election manifestos, and increase the number of people who believe the government should make ending youth homelessness a priority, up from 58 per cent.
The twelve organisations involved in the alliance are: Business in the Community; Centrepoint; Depaul UK; Family Lives; the Prince’s Trust; Homeless Link; HSBC; National Grid; Relate; Royal College of General Practitioners, St Basils, and Taylor Wimpey.