Imagine going to your local council for help because you’ve got nowhere to stay that night.
And now imagine being 16.
And now imagine being told that there is no help for you.
Welcome to Jamie’s story.
When Jamie came to us he had already been sleeping in a tent for months.
At 16, Jamie should never have been left to sleep in a tent.
Teenagers who become homeless are incredibly vulnerable. It’s hard to imagine closing the door on them. Often these are teenagers who have no choice but to leave their families. They may have been kicked out because of their sexuality, or faced abuse from someone at home.
But we know first-hand that young people can end up being passed from pillar to post around local councils.
And, as in Jamie’s case, some get turned away entirely.
There’s mounting evidence that people who are homeless are no longer getting the help they are legally entitled to.
There’s mounting evidence that lots of these people, are young, homeless and like Jamie, end up with nowhere to go.
This isn’t a fairy tale – just take a look at the news today.
This should not be happening. The law is clear about how young homeless people should be helped.
In fact, there’s been lots of discussions in court, which we thought would stop a case like Jamie’s happening again. But we’re still seeing these cases. Now there’s talk of taking other help for young people away too.
It’s a difficult truth for us to face, but we’re letting our teenagers down.
Shelter was able to help Jamie. Our expert solicitors got involved, and made sure he was found somewhere to stay.
But there are still more teenagers that need help.
Right now, our solicitors are fighting on behalf of other young people who have been turned down for help, which is why we’ve launched an emergency appeal this Christmas.
Shelter’s here to make sure no one faces homelessness alone.