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Bleak Friday aims to highlight young at risk of homelessness

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Centrepoint has highlighted that thousands of young people are at risk of spending Christmas on the streets

A homeless charity has dubbed today (30 November) Bleak Friday as it looks to highlight the plight of those living on the streets or in temporary accommodation.

Thousands of vulnerable young people will be homeless or at risk of homelessness in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Centrepoint has said.

The charity has highlighted that 18,000 young people aged 16-25 in the UK are currently or under threat of sleeping rough, and warned that homelessness is not always visible.

The campaign has dubbed November 30 Bleak Friday, a spin on last week's Black Friday, to highlight the challenges facing homeless young people over the festive period.

Its research found 93% of people who have slept rough felt that no-one cared about them and a quarter of homeless young people (26%) have stayed with a stranger because they had nowhere else to turn.

Centrepoint's research said 26% of young homeless people found themselves sofa-surfing and 68% were staying temporarily with extended family or friends to avoid abusive situations.

Seyi Obakin, Centrepoint chief executive, said: "For many, Christmas is a season to splurge with thousands enjoying the Black Friday deals, but for young homeless people it can be bleak, scary and sometimes life-threatening.

"While many of us are surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the festivities, it can be easy to forget that not everyone has the same support network or even a safe space to sleep.

"With the problem of youth homelessness growing, we need help now more than ever to protect these vulnerable young people and help them have a brighter new year."



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