Homeless children in Wales face a miserable Christmas
This Christmas more than 1,100 children in Wales will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation. They will be living in bed and breakfast establishments, hostels or with friends or family and ultimately living in a place that they can’t call “home”. The harsh realities of modern day hidden homeless means that their suffering risks being forgotten.
Many of these children are living in unsafe and unstable accommodation often with shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens, and the impact on these children’s health and well-being cannot be underestimated. They suffer emotional and mental turmoil as well as facing physical health risks due to the hazardous nature of the accommodation that they live in.
We know that sometimes life doesn’t quite work out as planned. Losing your job, serious illness, or a relationship breakdown, can cause life to spiral out of control and in a matter of months your home is put at risk. Homelessness is never planned.
We chatted with John Puzey the director of Shelter Cymru about the challenges children face:
John told us about a mother called Emily. This is her and her children's story.
Last Christmas Angharad had a Christmas she would very much like to forget. Angharad’s husband was diagnosed with a severe mental health condition which forced him to move out of the family home for his own safety and the safety of her and her three young children. With no financial support from her husband, yet the same bills to pay, and Christmas just around the corner, Angharad turned to a high-interest doorstep loan. However, in trying to keep up the repayments Angharad found herself falling behind with other bills and the family’s home came under threat.
But Shelter Cymru were able to be there for Angharad and her children, like we have been there for around half a million other people since 1981, supporting them to get back on their feet and to find and keep a home.
35 years after SC was founded too many families are still facing homelessness in Wales and we need the public’s help to find homes for struggling families and put our most vulnerable children on the agenda.
Our specialist advisers can make the difference between a family losing their home and keeping it, but we are finding it increasingly tough to keep up with soaring demand. We urgently need more support this Christmas to make sure no-one is left to fight homelessness on their own.
Please don’t forget the homeless children in Wales this Christmas and help us to end homelessness.
- Shelter Cymru supports families at risk of homelessness or living in poor housing. Last year the charity helped 16,000 people and a further 120,000 used Shelter Cymru’s Advice Online Service.
You can find information HERE on many different charities across the area