In the ‘I’ Today: One Fifth of Young People Have Been Homeless

Today’s I newspaper has a truly shocking story: ‘One Fifth of Young People Slept Rough’. This reports the findings of a survey conducted by ComRes for Centrepoint, a charity dealing with homelessness amongst young people, that in a poll of 2,000 15 to 25 year olds, 18 per cent had slept rough. They had been forced to sleep on the streets, in night buses or in cars due to the fact that they had nowhere else to go. A third of this group said that they had been homeless for up to a week. A third of those sampled generally also said that they had been homeless at some point in their lives. The report ends with a quote from the charity’s chief executive, Seyi Obakin, 6that ‘Our poll proves the issue of young people sleeping rough is huge and nobody else is giving an accurate picture of the problem.’

This is chilling, and should frighten everyone concerned with this country’s future. The same newspaper a few pages before that article also reports that today’s young people are far more likely to be ‘downwardly mobile’ due to there being less opportunities available for gaining middle class jobs. That article seems to regard the expansion of the middle classes in the 1960s as a blip that has now decreased as fewer of these jobs are created than lower skilled jobs.

Together these article paint a very bleak future for today’s young people, where there are few well-paid, professional jobs available and a far greater risk of becoming homeless. It’s certainly not the kind of situation that would encourage anyone from a working or lower middle class background to go to university and become saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of student debt.

The Tories and their Lib Dem collaborators have explicitly advocated their policies of dismantling the welfare state and forcing Britain’s workers to accept pay freezes and cuts on the grounds that this will make Britain better able to compete with the low-paid workers in the Developing World. Unsurprisingly, this is leading to a massive increase in poverty. I wonder how long it will be before we have the same Third World conditions in Britain, complete with mass famine, malnutrition and shanty towns full of the poor and the desperate. We are already like them in having a polarised society with a vast gulf between rich and poor. If this survey can be believed, we may be well on the way to a situation where London is now different from Calcutta, where a vast section of the population lives on the streets, occupying an area about the size of the average school desk.

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3 Responses to “In the ‘I’ Today: One Fifth of Young People Have Been Homeless”

  1. Florence Says:

    The only thing between us & shanty towns is the distinct lack of suitable open ground.

  2. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  3. In the ‘I’ Today: One Fifth of Youn... Says:

    […] Today’s I newspaper has a truly shocking story: ‘One Fifth of Young People Slept Rough’.  […]

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