Welfare: Abuse drives young from home

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The Independent Online
Family problems are one of the main causes of homelessness among young people, according to a survey published today. The report also challenges the view that only big cities have a problem with homelessness.

It highlights problems in three provincial areas - Lincolnshire, Crawley and Horsham in West Sussex, and South Yorkshire.

Nearly half of people aged under 25 and living on the streets said physical and other abuse, marital breakdown between parents and other family problems had forced them out of home.

The report, published by The Network, a partnership between the homeless charity Shelter and Midland Bank, found that more than 3,000 people aged between 15 and 25 who approached local agencies in the three areas of England over the last year were questioned about their problems. In Crawley and Horsham, West Sussex, 300 homeless young people sought help and 59 per cent of them blamed family breakdown on their plight.