How would you define a case of homelessness? Is it a case of someone running away from home, someone who has been removed from their home by the family, or someone who has simply got no home? One in every 100 young people in the UK experiences homelessness every year.

Homelessness is a serious issue and there are many young people who really need help to get back on their feet. However, there are also those who abuse the system thinking and claim they are homeless thinking it’s an easy way to get their own place and freedom from rules in the home.

Some young people claim to be homeless in the hope that they will be granted their own flat or house, however, this is not the case as you are put into shared accommodation which is not as glamorous as they would first assume. The situation is thoroughly assessed by a representative from the housing department and social services if the issue is to do with family.

We spoke to Jenina Abbeyquaye, Young Persons Team Housing Advisor at Brent Council. She said: “In many of the cases all that is needed is someone to mend the family ties and act as a mediator. This works well most of the time”. Many of the issues for leaving home are around fighting with parents, curfew complaints or issues with drink and drugs.

We were told that in Brent 87% of young people who come to the homeless team return home with the help of intervention work.

So remember, homelessness is serious, if you need advice you can drop in and see the homelessness team at: Mahatma Gandhi House 34 Wembley Hill Road Wembley Middlesex HA9 8AD For further information about homelessness you can visit the following websites: http://www.centrepoint.org.uk www.barnardos.org.uk

What are your views on homelessness and young people, let us know

By Paul Nugent, 18 and Krupa Kanadia, 17