Young people with immigrant background, mental illness, substance abuse problems, neglect as well as short or no education at all count for a large part of the increasing number of homeless youth. This is the case both in Denmark and the rest of Europe, projekt UDENFOR has learned working with young homeless people.
They are often LEFT OUT, before they actually are LEFT OUT – on the streets and sleeping rough. The increasing number of homeless youth, 1.755 young people between 18 and 29 according to the latest National homeless count of SFI – The Danish National Centre for Social Research, are minorities, first or second generation immigrants or young people, who due to mental illness, substance abuse problems, neglect or short or no education at all, feel left out.
According to SFI’s count, 22 percent of the homeless people between 18 and 24 have first or second generation immigrant background, 51 percent has a mental illness and 58 percent are addicts. The young people that projekt UDENFOR meets on the streets in our street-based work, (read about it here), are thus ’left out’ in more than one sense. This tendency, which also applies in the rest of Europe, as projekt UDENFOR has just learned, participating in an international seminar on homeless youth (read about it here).
At the seminar, it was also brought forward that especially LGBTQs (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) in several European countries as well as USA and Canada, make up a considerable part of the homeless statistics. However, this is not a documented tendency in Denmark and consequently it is not an issue that we have met in our street-based work.
Read projekt UDENFOR’s feature, We Owe the Young Homeless a Helping Hand, published in ’Kristeligt Dagblad’ on 29th January.