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Homeless teenagers thrown lifeline by Tower Hamlets Council’s new ‘crash pad’ for emergencies

PUBLISHED: 12:09 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 16 July 2018

Rough sleeper illustrated in Crisis charity's campaign by model with sleeping bag. Picture: Sam Mellish

Rough sleeper illustrated in Crisis charity's campaign by model with sleeping bag. Picture: Sam Mellish

Credit Sam Mellish

A new accommodation service with an emergency ‘crash pad’ being set up by Tower Hamlets Council to help prevent teenagers becoming homeless.

Mayor John Biggs... Mayor John Biggs... "This service will help protect our most vulnerable young people." Picture: Mike Brooke

The service aims to end the need for bed and breakfast and temporary accommodation and organise a ‘safe return home’ where possible, or help youngsters into long-term accommodation.

A ‘crash pad’ facility with two bed spaces is also being made available for emergency cases and short term accommodation for 24-to-48 hours.

“This will help protect our most vulnerable young people,” mayor John Biggs said. “We are doing all we can to tackle youth homelessness and offer the support they need.”

Bed and breakfast accommodation is limited in its support for vulnerable young people at risk of homelessness, the council acknowledges. The new service being run by One Housing Group is a step towards its strategy to combat homelessness, aimed at those aged 16 to 21, though not restricted to them.

It's rough for youngsters being homeless, depicted by a model in Crisis charity's campaign. Picture: Ralph HodgsonIt's rough for youngsters being homeless, depicted by a model in Crisis charity's campaign. Picture: Ralph Hodgson

Deputy Mayor for Housing Siraj Islam said: “Intervening when a child is about to become homeless is a critical support service that can change their life and ensure they meet their potential.”

Insecure jobs, declining welfare support and increased rents contributed to a rise in young people being made homeless or at the risk,according to research by Crisis charity. Half of all cases in Tower Hamlets in 2015-16 were people under 35, almost a-quarter aged 18 to 25.

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