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The Rife Team

Why Does A Young Person Become Homeless?


We teamed up with young people from 1625 Independent People to make a documentary on why young people become homeless…

52% of those seeking help with homelessness are under 25

We worked with young people from 1625 Independent People to try and explore the issues that result in homelessness. They can be anything from mental health issues to debt to less of employment to drug/alcohol addiction to family breakdown.

We interviewed people on the street about why they think people become homeless, and spoke to young people who have experienced homelessness about how they actually became homeless. We also went down to the Wild Goose to interview people who had been homeless for a while to find out how it happened.

Here’s the video:

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1625 Independent People does a multitude of things:

‘Housing is just the tip of the iceberg of what we do. We run 13 specialist projects and services to help young people in different ways.’ – Nicole Stapley, 1625 Independent People


We interviewed Nicole Stapley from 1625 Independent People about what the organisation does.

What is your role?

I am the project coordinator for the Upfront Peer Education project at 1625 Independent People; I work closely with young people who are currently, or have been, homeless and have used our services.

 What is hidden homeless?

The official statistics around homelessness are based on those who are presenting to the council as in need of housing; however, the vast majority of homeless people exist out of sight in bed and breakfasts, squats, on the floors or sofas of friends and family, as well as sleeping rough. This means that they are not included in those statistics and that they may not be receiving the help and support that is available as they aren’t accessing services.

What are the five key contributing factors to becoming homeless?

When running peer education sessions, we focus on five main themes: crime, debt, family breakdown, mental health and drugs and alcohol. A big part of the work we do is helping people to see how these five themes feed into each other and can contribute towards creating a cycle of homelessness.

What support systems are in place for homeless people under the age of 25?

As an organisation we offer support in the following ways:

Prevention: Mediation, Specialist Youth Homelessness prevention workers, Education in schools

Crisis: Crash pad accommodation, Drop-in advice, Emergency accommodation, followed by a range of supported housing options.

Longer term:

Floating support – support in the young person’s home for resettlement or to stop them losing accommodation

Cashpoint – financial confidence work to help young people manage their money and the risks associated with being in debt including homelessness

We also provide specialist support for care leavers, young offenders and those with mental health problems.

We help young people to reboot their lives and give them the skills and confidence to live independently.

Apart from 1625ip, what kind of support systems are in place for people under 25 who may either be street homeless or hidden homeless?

We work closely with a number of partners in the voluntary and public sector to ensure that the young people we support are aware of and able to access the services available to them. These include colleges and training providers, mental health services, substance misuse services and Youth Offending Teams. In terms of housing support, Nightstop (run by Caring in Bristol) offer short term emergency accommodation in family homes. Other than that, young people can access advice services such as Shelter, ACFA or CAB, or accommodation provided by generic homelessness services.

How have the young people from 1625ip benefitted from the partnership project?

I think the project has been a great way of building confidence for the young people involved, it has been wonderful to see them develop new skills and to share their ideas so freely with each other about what the focus of the film should be.


1625 Independent People

Bristol Homeless Mediation Service

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