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Problems

Homeless / Runaways

Anyone can end up homeless due to circumstances over which they may have had no control. Being homeless can bring with it not only the practical problems of having no fixed place to stay, to feel safe, to feel secure, but it can also greatly affect a person's self esteem, confidence, identity, and sense of belonging. Many homeless people can feel an enormous sense of isolation and despair. It is not always easy to be motivated and energised when sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation. It takes a lot of strength to keep going and to try and turn the situation around, to try and get back on your feet and to find some semblance of security in your life. It is important to try and get as much support as you can from wherever you can to help you to access services and assistance which is out there.

Sadly many young people on the streets have left home due to abuse, neglect and we get calls and emails from young people who are contemplating running away from home as a way of solving their problems. If you are a young person reading this and are in this situation we would urge you to look at other ways of trying to deal with any difficulties you might be experiencing at home. Children and young people who runaway frequently become targets for people who do not have your best interests at heart. They may pretend to care for you and befriend you and may well have ulterior motives. It is not uncommon for young people who runaway to be forced into prostitution, stealing, and other crime and once in that situation it is very difficult to get away from the person who may be abusing you so by running away from an abusive situation you may well be running into another abusive situation.

If you have problems at home or any kind of problems please use the resources from this website and links to other websites and agencies to try and get help and support to deal with the difficulties you may be experiencing. To get help you need to ask for it - from teachers, friends, parents, relatives, helplines, youth workers, GP, - anyone you feel you can trust - if you don't get the help you need from that person - ask another person and keep asking until you get the help you need.

For anyone who has gone missing or runaway - you may have your own reasons for this and feel you don't want anyone to know where you are and may have moved on with your life - however for your family/loved ones it can be extremely difficult for them to move on with their lives not knowing whether you may be alive or dead - perhaps think about leaving a message to let people know you are safe and you can do this through the Runaway Helpline and Missing Persons Helpline (details below).

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Agencies which provide support and information

Alone in London: (relevant to all London Boroughs) 020 7278 4224 Unit 6, 48 Provost Street London N1 7SU, www.aloneinlondon.org - Provides advice, advocacy, housing, family mediation, employment and training opportunities for young people aged 16-25 years. There are seven projects for young homeless people with low to medium support needs

Alone in London provides four main services:

  • The Family Mediation Service: is used to assist in resolving family conflict. Young people are supported in returning home or helped with practical arrangements for leaving home in a planned way. They provide a safe and confidential place for young people to talk about their family difficulties. They can help young people to contact and send messages to their family. They support young people who are still at home or at school, as well as those who have already run away and who have not had contact with their families for several years.

  • Supported Housing Project: Prepares young people for living independently, in a safe and supportive environment.

  • Advice and Advocacy: provides practical and emotional support to vulnerable young people whoa re homeless as well as advocating, supporting, representing and informing them of their legal and statutory entitlements.

  • Training and employment: assists young people with cvs, interview skills, job placement and training opportunities.

Big Issue Foundation:
020 7526 3200
www.bigissue.com
Helping homeless people to help themselves. Aims to enable people affected by homelessness to achieve self confidence, self esteem and independence. Provide a gateway to a range of support services, both within the community and on site. These include housing and resettlement, specialist health services, education and training.

Connection At St.Martins: (relevant to all London boroughs)
020 7766 5544
www.connection-at-stmartins.org.uk
Provides an outreach and drop in service offering advice, support and advocacy on health, drugs, alcohol, sexual health, sexuality, homelessness, housing, benefits, education and careers. There are also youth work services and a doctor's surgery. Also practical facilities such as showers, an information technology suite and a subsidised cafeteria. Support is available for young people looking for accommodation. Ages 16-25 years.

Crisis Skylight: (relevant to all London boroughs)
0300 636 1967

www.crisis.org.uk
Activity centre for homeless people and the local community. Aims to improve practical life skills, reduce isolation and improve confidence and self esteem. Wide range of creative and social activities, short course and classes. Kitchen where people can share cooking skills, with non costly food available and course sin food preparation and catering. Access to support and training programmes. The service is for homeless people, including those who have recently been resettled. Ages 16 years and above.

Field Lane Christian Care and Housing:
020 7748 0303

www.fieldlane.org.uk

Provides range of services for homeless families and for older people with dementia 

Keychange Charity:
020 7633 0533

www.keychange.org.uk
To provide good quality residential care and Christian community. Currently two homelessness projects (direct access hostel and supported accommodation hostel, both for women). Eight projects for elderly people, two nursing homes, five residential homes and sheltered housing.

Missing People
116 000 (freephone)

www.missingpeople.org.uk

National 24 hour helpline for people who are missing someone. Support, advice and practical help for the families of missing people.

No Second Night Out
www.nosecondnightout.org.uk
Help and support for rough sleepers/homeless.

P3 Charity
www.p3charity.org
See website for local contacts - P3 run a variety of services all over the UK that aim to give everyone the chance to be part of the community they live in and feel connected to society.

Aim to improve the lives and communities by delivering services for socially excluded and vulnerable people to unlock their potential and open up new possibilities. Linkworker provides support to troubled people in troubled times, one to one support to address issues such as debt, crime, housing, drugs, alcohol, employment help with CV writing, job searching, training, work placement and IT training.

Runaway Helpline: 
116 000

www.runawayhelpline.org.uk
Runaway Helpline is here if you are thinking about running away, if you have already run away, or if you have been away and come back.You can also contact the Helpline if you are worried that someone else is going to run away or if they are being treated badly or abused.You can call or text for free, 24 hours a day.
Email - 116000@runawayhelpline.org.uk. It's all confidential.

St. Christopher's Fellowship:
0808 115 1546

www.stchris.org.uk
Charity and housing association providing care, accommodation, education, training and support to children, young people and vulnerable adults. With the exception of the Refuge all projects are via professional referral only. Ages 12-25 years.

Streetlink
0300 500 0914
www.streetlink.org.uk
If you are concerned about a person sleeping rough/homeless person you can report this online. If for any reason you can't use the online service please contact the Helpline number. If you are a rough sleeper/homeless and need help you can also report this online or contact the Helpline number

St. Mungo's Broadway:
0203 856 6000

www.mungosbroadway.org.uk
Support men and women through more than 200 projects including emergency, hostel and supportive housing projects, advice services and specialist physical health,  mental health, skills and work services.

Shelter's free housing advice helpline:
0808 800 4444

www.shelter.org.uk
Provides telephone advice and information for people with a housing problem or who are homeless. Offers support and advice on housing rights, harassment, problems with tenancies, illegal eviction, rent and mortgage arrears, housing benefit, domestic violence, hostel placement and finding accommodation. All ages.

Simon Community:
020 7485 6639

www.simoncommunity.org.uk
To provide relief, care and comfort to those people sleeping rough and with no fixed abode, to campaign for improvements in the quality of life for the homeless and rootless. One night shelter and two residential homes, street work to reach those people who most need help, medical care, tea and soup runs, twice weekly street café.

Spires:
020 8696 0943

www.spires.org.uk
8 Tooting Bec Gardens, London SW16
To improve the quality of life of people who are homeless, jobless or suffering from the effects of poverty, mental illness or loneliness, by providing a range of day centre services. Open access day centre. Services include free meals, clothing, companionship, resettlement advice, primary health care clinic, drug and alcohol services, benefits advice, women's group and adult learning sessions.

The Mix (formerly Get Connected)
0808 808 4994
www.themix.org.uk
www.getconnected.org.uk
Essential support for under 25s. Phone, Email, Web support and Counselling

United Response
020 8246 5200
www.unitedresponse.org.uk
Provides a wide range of housing services for those who are vulnerable, have physical disability, mental health needs, learning disabilities, complex needs, autism, acquired brain injury.

Homegroup/Stonham Housing Association:
0345 141 4663

www.homegroup.org.uk
Housing association providing care and support for people in order to enable them to gain greater independence and control over their lives. Housing care and support services (residential and non residential) to single homeless, ex offenders, people with mental health problems, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, drug and alcohol misusers, young people leaving care or at risk, women escaping domestic violence, vulnerable mothers and babies.

The Albert Kennedy Trust: (national and relevant to all London boroughs)
020 7831 6562

www.akt.org.uk
Works with lesbian, gay and bisexual young people up to the age of 21 years, providing advocacy, support and advice. Also gives access to supported lodgings with gay and lesbian carers who provide a positive role model and environment. The young person must self identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Coram Voice: (relevant to all London boroughs and nationally)
0808 800 5792
www.coramvoice.org.uk
Provides independent, confidential advocacy services to children in need, in care or who are leaving care and who make direct contact with VCC. Also visiting advocacy to children in residential care and secure establishments. Assists young people who have run away or who are at risk of running and who contact the freephone number. Ages 21 years and under.

Useful websites

  • www.shp.org.uk - the charity for vulnerable and homeless people in London.

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