You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be homeless. If you are staying somewhere you have no legal right to stay (like a friend’s house) or somewhere that is not safe for you (where people are violent), then you are homeless.
Who can help?
Children’s Social Care must help most homeless 16-and 17- year-olds. It is part of the council and used to be called Social Services. In an emergency they can help find somewhere safe for you to stay the night.
Housing Options help people who are homeless. It is part of the council too. If it is an emergency, they can also help you find somewhere safe to stay that night.
Advice services like Shelter and Rutland Cab can help you understand your rights and challenge decisions you think are wrong. You can also call Shelter’s free helpline on 08088 004 444
In Rutland there are special young people’s support services located at Jules House (Oakham) that can deal with homelessness. You can also speak to one of the Youth Workers or Youth Options Advisors that are located at Jules too.
01572 758 301
Children’s Social Care
Children’s Social Care will do an assessment to see if you are a ‘child in need’ (this legal term covers young people too). If they agree you are, they can help you to:
- Find a place to live (and they pay for it)
- Get into training and education
- Tackle personal issues, like drug or alcohol problems
If children's social care can't help you get independent advice as soon as you can. Meanwhile, speak to someone from Housing Options. Tell them you are homeless.
Some young people don’t like the idea of being involved with Children’s Social Care. If you are offered support you don’t have to agree to it, but they can help with all your issues – not just housing. If you don’t want help, you need to go to Housing Options.
Whoever you go to will want to check if you can go back home, because it isn’t easy living on your own at 16 and 17. Housing Options and Children’s Social Care have people who can talk to you and your parent(s) to see if you can sort things out, but cannot force you to go back home, especially if it isn’t safe for you to because of violence or abuse. That is why it’s very important for you to tell the worker about these things. Even if you and your parent(s) agree to talk, the council should help you with getting a place to stay while this is being sorted out.