Homelessness charity, Crisis, has published a report that shines a light on the brutality of sofa surfing; the most common form of hidden homelessness in the UK.

The report, based on interviews with 114 people, outlines the horrific effects of sofa surfing on a person’s mental and physical health. Furthermore, it explores the erosion of a person’s relationships and the root causes that lead to the vicious cycle of sofa surfing.

Llamau recognises and supports the findings outlined in the research. Across support services, young people and women commonly reference times whereby they’ve endured potentially harmful and dangerous environments to ensure they have a roof over their head.

Young people who are homeless are very often sofa surfing or sleeping on floors, with friends or strangers to avoid sleeping rough. As the generosity of friends and family runs out, they very often make more and more risky decisions about where to sleep each night, placing themselves at serious risk of exploitation and abuse.

We support the recommendations put forward in the report, in particular the need for long term and sustainable funding for homelessness prevention. Being homeless when you’re young can be terrifying and have life-long consequences.  Dealing with the stress of having to find a different sofa or floor to sleep on every night is frightening and exhausting.  Trying to keep yourself safe when you’re young and trying to study or hold down a job is more than most of us would manage. 80% of people interviewed in Crisis’ report said their mental health had suffered as a result of sofa surfing.

If we are to end homelessness, it is vital that we intervene and support homeless young people now. We are committed to working with Welsh Government and Local Authorities across Wales to ensure young people who are homeless have the support they need now, so that we can prevent them being homeless in the future as adults.

Read the report