Centrepoint reveals extent of demand surge amid pandemic

Centrepoint has revealed figures showing the increase in demand for its support among young people facing homelessness amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The homeless charity has reported that since March 2020 it had seen a 33% increase in demand for its helpline services. This includes an increase in those sleeping rough.

The charity adds that it has seen a 40% rise in demand for mental health support. But “unfortunately due to limited capacity this has resulted in an increase in wait times from two weeks to three months”.

The findings have emerged in the charity’s A Year Like No Other report.

This recommends long term funding from the government for youth specific accommodation for those at risk of homelessness. In addition, there should be greater support for tenants who have accrued rent arrears during the crisis.

The charity is the latest in the voluntary sector to report rising demand on services during the health crisis.

This period has also seen a cut in income and many services pivoted online due to a reduction in face-to-face support due to lockdowns.

In February, a survey of more than 1,700 youth organisations and charities found that two thirds have seen a rise in demand, while 83% have seen their income dip.

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