Hundreds of young people left homeless in the north-east

Charity Aberdeen Foyer is now crying out for members of the public to house young people temporarily.

Help plea as hundreds of young people go homeless in the north-east

Over 20,000 young people were left homeless last year across Scotland.

For those north of the central belt, options on where to go next are limited.

North-East charity Aberdeen Foyer is now crying out for members of the public to house young people temporarily.

Like thousands of young people in Scotland, Joanne Findlay found herself homeless at the age of 17.

After a disagreement over leaving school, the relationship with her parents broke down.

For the first time ever, she faced the world alone.

Now 28, she said: “I was just really scared of what would happen and to be honest I didn’t really see a good future for myself. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, I didn’t know where I was going to go.  There was just no stability at all.”

When young people in the north-east become homeless, they’re sent to a hostel. But Aberdeen Foyer warned they can be dangerous places and can lead youths down the wrong path.

In partnership with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils, the Foyer have set up Nightstop, to give homeless young people a listening ear and a safe place to stay.

Megan Douglas, Nightstop coordinator at Aberdeen Foyer said: “When a young person does find themselves experiencing homelessness, the options for them are quite limited.

“Nightstop gives them a safe space for a young person in a home environment. They are offered a spare room, a meal and also a listening ear.

“You don’t have to be a qualified social worker – just an average person who has a spare room and has the desire to help a young person.”

Last year almost 800 young people across Aberdeen and the shire had nowhere to sleep at night.

Reasons include rent arrears, violent and abusive households or simply relationships breaking down between family members.

A recent report shows over 20% of children in Aberdeen are living in poverty.

Those behind the Foyer say that figure has a huge role to play in homelessness.

Leona McDermid, CEO at Aberdeen Foyer said: “It can be for the purposes of the family not being able to maintain that young person when they are 16+, it can be lots of different things but poverty has a real negative impacts and outcomes to move on as well.”

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