End Youth Homelessness Cymru welcomes today’s announcement from the First Minister, of details of how funding will be distributed to enable us to meet the goal of ending youth homelessness in Wales within 10 years.

The announcement comes following the release of research by the Wales Centre for Public Policy and on the back of pressure from End Youth Homelessness Cymru to address the fact that nearly 8,000 young people asked for help with homelessness last year. The First Minister’s announcement addresses many of the recommendations in the research, ensuring that resources are available to develop primary preventative services, to establish innovative solutions to youth homelessness and to improve young people’s awareness of the services they can access if they need help. 

Frances Beecher, Chair of End Youth Homelessness Cymru and Chief Executive of Llamau stated:

The First Minister’s announcement today couldn’t be more welcome; it’s an outrage that young people are experiencing homelessness in such numbers in our country and absolutely right that Welsh Government are treating the issue with such gravity. We particularly welcome the provision of funding for services which will enable us to take a preventative approach to youth homelessness – an approach that End Youth Homelessness has championed throughout our campaign.

It is critical that this announcement, and the funding being made available in 2018/19, are not treated by governments as instant remedies to this problem. Youth homelessness cannot be ended overnight and we need certainty that the government will provide the resources necessary to ensure that the third sector, in partnership with local authorities, can deliver the results that this strategy demands. We need long-term funding for both the delivery of effective interventions as well as academic evaluation of innovative approaches, so we can say with certainty what is effective in preventing youth homelessness in Wales. In particular, we call upon whoever will take up the post as our next First Minister to match the energy and commitment of our current FM, Carwyn Jones, who has done so much to get us to this point. We call upon the next First Minister to maintain momentum on the issue by providing long-term certainty of funding and creating a ministerial position with specific focus on homelessness.