Almost 1000 children in the North West face Christmas homeless this year

ots-drunk eastbank 1 st southport ots onthespot ots

Almost 1000 children in the North West face Christmas homeless this year

Shelter is  launching an emergency appeal after official figures revealed that 922 children in the North West are homeless and in temporary accommodation.

The charity warns that this Christmas morning they face waking up without a home of their own, with many living in cramped and difficult conditions in emergency hostels or B&Bs.

Across Britain the charity warns that there are 80,000 children facing this Christmas homeless.

For families whose emergency housing is a bed and breakfast – the numbers of which now stand at a ten year high – this Christmas will be particularly bleak.

The charity conducted an investigation with 25 families in England currently or recently living in B&Bs, uncovering the desperate conditions that homeless children face today. Almost half of the families reported very disturbing incidents witnessed by children, including open drug use and threats of violence, with one direct threat of violence to a child. The majority of the families said they felt unsafe in their emergency accommodation.

The conditions uncovered by the Shelter investigation are a world away from the B&Bs used by holidaymakers.

The majority of the families were living together in one room, while in over half of the cases investigated, children were sharing beds with their parents or siblings.

Two thirds of the families said that their children had no table to eat meals on, and often had to eat on the floor or on the bed.

With homelessness rising, the charity is bracing itself for a surge in demand for its advice services and launching an emergency appeal for donations to fund its work helping homeless children.

Every December the charity receives calls from thousands of families, with advisers on duty every single day in the Christmas period – including on Christmas Day – to help families at risk of losing their homes or living in B&Bs.

Shelter’s investigation highlighted the devastating impact of B&Bs on homeless children and found that:  •12 of the families had to share kitchen facilities and 3 families had no cooking facilities at all in their building. One family reported sharing a cooker and a fridge with 22 other people

•22 of the families said that it was very difficult to find a safe place for their children to play

•Of the families with school age children, all of the children found it very difficult to do their homework

•More than half of the families had to share a bathroom or toilet with strangers, with 10 sharing with seven or more other people

•One family living in a B&B with their daughter reported a man threatening to “smash her face in” after an argument about a shared bathroom.

Chief executive of Shelter,  Campbell Robb said: “Our shocking findings have uncovered the shameful conditions homeless children will be living in this Christmas. Parents and children sharing beds, children forced to eat on the floor and being threatened with violence in the place they live: this shouldn’t be happening in twenty-first century Britain.   “No child should be homeless, let alone 80,000. But tragically, with more people struggling to make ends meet and homelessness on the rise, we’re bracing ourselves for an increase in demand from families who desperately need our help.

“Our advisers will be working with families facing homelessness every day this Christmas to help them find a safe place to live and get back on their feet – but we urgently need more support this year to be there for these children.”

To support Shelter’s emergency Christmas appeal visit or text HOME to 87080 and donate £3 to answer a call for help.   Report & Photographs By Steve Crane

Submit News   Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07930717137 Email [email protected]





OTS News