Child homelessness is at a record high in Scotland: Here’s how you can help

Thursday 28 September 2023
Homeless teenager in a sleeping bag preparing to sleep on the street.jpg

Not having a home is something no one should experience, let alone a child. However, youth homelessness has been recorded at an all-time high in Scotland. In this blog, we share how we help alleviate the crisis, and how you can too.

This year, the Scottish Government reported that youth homelessness was at an all-time high. The report showed that by 31st March, there were ‘more households and children than ever in temporary accommodation’, highlighting 9,595 children within the system - the highest number since the records began in 2002. This means almost 10,000 young people lacked a secure place to sleep, regular meals, and a warm bed.

What does it mean to be in the homeless system?

Being in the homeless system doesn’t always mean sleeping on the streets. It can also mean sleeping on a friend’s or stranger’s sofa, or living in temporary accommodation.

Not having a stable home can have significant, lasting effects that range from mental health struggles to poor academic performance.

Scotland’s most recent figures also show that 29% of cases contained children. This means there's a heartbreaking number of young people without access to the safety and security all children deserve.

youg homeless girl sitting in sleeping back on street floor as people walk past.jpg

How does homelessness affect young people

Being homeless can have a lasting impact on a young person’s mental and physical health. From a lack of access to healthcare to poor nutrition and poorer sleep, the physical demands of not having a home are exhausting.

Homelessness can increase the chance of developing a mental health condition like anxiety or depression. It can also worsen any pre-existing mental health struggles. In a survey of homeless young people in England, 75% reported that their living situation harmed their mental health.

It can also make young people vulnerable to participating in risky behaviour or crime.

One in six homeless young people take part in criminal activity for somewhere to stay.

Discover the lasting impact of homelessness!
The effects of youth homelessness

How can you help prevent youth homelessness?

Without a stable home, a young person’s future is uncertain. Through our services, we aim to give this certainty back. We do this by working with young people and vulnerable families who are facing homelessness. This includes intervention methods, teaching life skills, and offering employability support. Our aim is to reduce homelessness in young people by helping them find current and future housing arrangements.

You can help us do more...

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How Boycott Your Bed makes a difference

Our annual sleepout, Boycott Your Bed Live, is another way to help us tackle youth homelessness, both in Scotland and across the UK. By giving up your bed for one night, you can help us raise vital funds for vulnerable children in need. Last year alone our supporters raised over £600,000. This means that we can reach more children and help them have the safe and happy childhood they deserve.

Group photo of Boycott your Bed LIVE 2022 Belfast Sleepers
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Help us support vulnerable children

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So, whether you participate in Boycott Your Bed, host your own fundraiser, complete a challenge event, or simply donate, your support can help us change the lives of homeless children and young people across the UK.

Ready to Boycott your Bed?

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