November 13, 2014 1.47 pm This story is over 114 months old

10 Myths held by young people looking to move out

Running away: The Lincolnshire Homeless Strategy Group tackles myths around youth homelessness.

A campaign focused on ‘breaking the myths of homelessness’ is being launched across Lincolnshire during the next few months. This has been developed by the Lincolnshire Homeless Strategy Group.

The aim is to encourage people affected by homelessness to seek help as early as possible and not at crisis point. The campaign will first highlight and dispel the myths of youth homelessness; then the myths of rough sleepers and move on to breaking other myths of homelessness in the new year.

10 myths held by young people and the facts:

Myth: If I leave home I will be independent with no rules.
Fact: There are rules/conditions in any tenancy/licence agreement whether it is supported accommodation, a private rental or social housing.

Myth: My life will be a lot better if I left home and live independently.
Fact: Sadly, not always the case. The cost of rent and other bills are normally high in comparison to the average young person’s income and it will mean having to cook your own food, do your own laundry etc. If you cannot pay your rent – you will be evicted.

Myth: It is only older people who are homeless.
Fact: 16-24 year olds are the second largest age category of people to become homeless. In Lincolnshire last year there were 195 16-24 years old who approached their local council as homeless.

Myth: It is only people who didn’t do well at school; got into taking drugs and crime, who become homeless.
Fact: Any young person could become homeless. This could be due to a young person being abused; their parents passing away or their parent’s home being repossessed.

Myth: My local council has to house me if I become homeless.
Fact: This is not necessarily the case and many young people have to find their own accommodation, with help from their council.

Myth: If I become homeless, I will have my own flat.
Fact: A young person normally has to share with other people in supported or private rented accommodation.

Myth: It is only men not women who become homeless.
Fact: There is an even 50/50 split of males to females of young homeless people across Lincolnshire.

Myth: If I am pregnant or have children, the council automatically has to house me.
Fact: You often have to arrange accommodation yourself, with assistance from your local council, who will talk through with you about all of your housing options.

Myth: Any anti-social behaviour I cause, or criminal activity I am involved in, will not cause me to have problems with housing now or in the future.
Fact: It stays on someone’s record for many years and can cause huge problems in accessing housing.

Myth: My friend’s behaviour in my home is not my responsibility.
Fact: It is your responsibility and any anti-social behaviour (including shouting; swearing; loud music etc) by you or any visitors, can mean a breach to your licence/tenancy agreement and so you could be evicted.

As part of this campaign, we will also be commissioning a short film on youth homelessness. To find out more about the work we are doing, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Celia Bown is the Project Co-ordinator for Lincolnshire Homeless Strategy Group.