Link – Homeless young people like Elaine, fleeing abuse and chaos, need a lifeline

For many young people the future is bleak; leaving home after a family breakdown, often because of overcrowding and poverty, means there is no emotional, financial or social safety net to fall back on. The government’s answer is for young people to stay at home and save. But the bank of mum and dad is not available for these young people and homelessness is often their only option.

This is true for kids from abusive homes as well. I’ve come across quite a few homeless teens and early adults who ran away from abusive family situations. They don’t have the skills to support themselves, but they have no family to go to while they learn those skills.

I’ve written before about how child abuse interrupts emotional development, and this is another example of how we have young adults who are way behind their peers in career development as well, because they are escaping their abuse instead of having a family safety net while they gain skills and experience with low-paying, entry-level, jobs. Those jobs are an important part of development, but the very nature of those jobs requires some support as well. The answer for abused and broken young people can’t be to go “home” for that.


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