The Centre was concerned to hear David Cameron’s proposal to scrap housing benefit for under 25s. The Centre, based in Westminster, provided a home for one hundred 16-21 young people last year who were either homeless or on the verge of homelessness. Housing benefit plays a major role in allowing us to provide the support and stability necessary to turn lives around.
Many of the homeless 16 to 21 year olds who stay in the Centre’s hostel do not have a family home to which they can return, as Mr Cameron suggests. They are homeless precisely because of a breakdown in their relationship with their family, the result of abuse, a second partner, overcrowding, and many other reasons. Some have come out of the care system and simply do not have a family who can take them back or support them.
Cathy Corcoran, CEO of the Cardinal Hume Centre said: ‘I would like to invite Mr Cameron to take the 10 minute from the House of Commons to the Centre and talk to the young people here. He must ask them about their lives and their aspirations before he settles on the detail of his proposal. Living on benefits is not the easy option. For many of the people with whom we work it is the only option besides living on the streets, riding around on night buses, or sleeping on someone else’s floor, not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow.’
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