Whether you are homeless, unhappy at home or thinking about leaving home, it is important to know what help and support there is available to you.
'Homelessness' stands for not having a home. Even if you
have a roof over your head you can still be homeless. This is
because you may not have any rights to stay where you live or your
home might be unsuitable for you.
What does it mean?
Homelessness affects a wide variety of people. You don't have to be just sleeping on the streets to be classed as homeless. You might also be legally homeless if you are temporarily staying with friends or family, staying in a hostel or bed and breakfast, living in very overcrowded conditions, at risk of violence or abuse in your home or living in poor conditions that affect your health.
Other conditions that can mean you are described as homeless include living somewhere that you have no legal right to stay in (e.g. a squat), living somewhere that you can't afford to pay for without depriving yourself of basic essentials, or being forced to live apart from your family or from someone you would normally live with because your accommodation isn't suitable.
Homelessness affects a wide variety of people; it affects some young people who are leaving home for the first time.
How do people become homeless?
You could become homeless for many different reasons. These could include:
- being evicted by your landlord
- losing your job
- health problems
- relationship problems
- a disaster such as fire or flooding
What do I do if I am homeless or am about to become homeless in Herts?
Herts Young Homeless (hyh) is an independent charity that has been supporting vulnerable people in Hertfordshire for over 15 years. Most of their work is with young people aged 16-24 who have had difficulty in securing and maintaining safe, secure accommodation.
They recognise the importance of preventing homeless situations arising, particularly involving young people. Their experience has enabled them to develop mediation, education and other specialist prevention services with the aim of avoiding the misery of a breakdown in family relationships. Of course, this is not always possible, and in those cases, hyh aim to help the young people affected get the chance to fulfil their potential, despite their problems, through offering advice, support and other associated services.
Homelessness can often lead to, and indeed result from, issues of drug and alcohol dependency and poor mental health. hyh have experts in these areas work with people of all ages to support them in overcoming these challenges. If you need temporary or emergency accommodation please seek advice as soon as possible. Find out more about hyh here.
- If you need temporary or emergency accommodation, contact a nightshelter. The Shelter organisation also give free, confidential, impartial and independent housing advice, assistance and advocacy to anyone who is homeless or has a housing related problem. Find out more here.
- Temporary or emergency accommodation
- Shelter in Hertfordshire
- National Shelter website
Want to learn more about homelessness, leaving home and independent living? Herts Young Homeless (hyh) Home Truths education service can provide your school, college or youth group with a free workshop/s on these issues. If you or your school are interested, please email your details to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01462 435668.
Thinking of running away?
Young people and children go missing from home or care for a number of reasons, some of which are often varied and complex. If you go missing you could be placing yourself and others at risk. As well as short-term risks, there can be long term implications. For more information, click here.
Having problems getting on with your parents?
Herts Young Homeless (hyh) may be able to help - see the mediation download here.
Also see the 'Thinking of running away' leaflet in the downloads at the bottom of this page.
Are you a young care leaver?
GETA - Guide to Emergency & Temporary Accommodation is a guide that has been produced to help care leavers gain information about emergency and temporary accommodation and understand what their housing rights are. The GETA guide is a 19 page colourful booklet that includes real life case studies of young people's experiences, housing rights and options, types of accommodation and valuable contacts.