Installations highlight the homlessness charity's work
The Rock Trust is marking 30 years of work supporting vulnerable and at-risk young people by bringing the issue of youth homelessness into the core of the community.
The charity’s self-styled Sofa Stories installation and engagement events are taking place in community spaces across the nation during the lead-up to World Homelessness Day, on the 10th of October.
The aim of the event is to highlight the hidden nature of youth homelessness. Many of us associate homelessness with rough sleeping and rooflessness, but this isn’t the case for 7,303* young people in Scotland.
Many young people, through relationship breakdown or trauma, end up sleeping on sofas (sofa surfing) or floors of friends and even strangers for short periods of time, placing them at great risk of exploitation and abuse, and their future at risk. Because of this, Rock Trust is using its 30th anniversary year to make the invisible nature of youth homelessness visible.
Kate Polson, CEO of Rock Trust said: “It is incredibly important that we all recognise the extent of the youth homelessness crisis in Scotland, the majority of which is hidden from community view. Young people have so much potential if given the right support from their communities and that begins by having a conversation about what exactly youth homelessness is and how we can work together to fix it. The response from local businesses and communities has been fantastic, all willing to make time and space for us to engage in this conversation and ultimately, to bring more people on board with the mission to end youth homelessness”
The Sofa Stories event dates include: Wednesday 6 October – St John’s Shopping Centre, Perth, from 10.00am Thursday October – Kingsgate Shopping Centre, Dunfermline, from 10.00am Friday 8 October – Livingston Designer Outlet, Livingston, from 10.00am Saturday 9 October – Leith Walk Police Box, Edinburgh, from 10.00am Sunday 10 October – St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, Edinburgh, from 10.00am
Scottish Government data showed there were nearly 9,000 youth homelessness applications in 2019/20, and this is expected to have risen during the course of the pandemic.
Iain Allan Mills, project manager at Rock Trust added: “We’re reaching out to local communities by using an installation that will hopefully get people to stop, engage with our team and ask questions about the nature of youth homelessness. Come and talk to us, find out what we do, learn about our projects and how you can do your part in preventing a young person from becoming homeless, and supporting young people out of homelessness.”