Over 1,500 children in Wales will wake up this Christmas without a place to call home
This Christmas an unprecedented number of children in Wales will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation with no place to call home, campaigners have warned.
Shelter Cymru have pointed to stark figures that show the number of people living in emergency accommodation has nearly doubled in the last year and our services are seeing a huge increase in the number of children who are experiencing homelessness.
The homelessness charity says an alarming number of children will be living in hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels or other ‘temporary accommodation’ with insufficient space for eating, sleeping and playing.
It says often it is not ‘temporary’ because the housing crisis means that people could be stuck in poor conditions for several months or even years, with little hope for a permanent home.
The number of children whose families have come to Shelter Cymru for help because they are stuck in temporary accommodation has gone up by a third in the last year.
It is estimated that this year approaching 7,000 people will spend Christmas homeless, with uncertainty regarding finding a suitable home for the future.
This has been put down perfect storm of welfare cuts and rising rents, together with a lack of social and affordable homes is creating impossible pressure for local authorities.
This, coupled with the devastating effect of the Covid pandemic, paints a very bleak picture for these homeless families and other people struggling to get by, the charity says.
‘Mental and physical health’
Ruth Power, CEO of Shelter Cymru, said: “We know first-hand the negative impact that not having a home and living in temporary accommodation has on people’s mental and physical health.
“And we know that homelessness affects children and young people’s education, and can have lifelong impacts.
“This Christmas in Wales too many families will be living in poor conditions where it’s difficult to cook a proper meal. Some will spend Christmas living in one room, where they are forced to eat, play, dry their washing and sleep.
“We need your help to stop this from happening. Every child deserves a safe place to call home. Every donation will mean that Shelter Cymru can be there for those who need us, this Christmas and beyond.”
Shelter Cymru supports families at risk of homelessness or living in poor housing. Last year the charity helped more than 17,000 people and a further 420,000 used Shelter Cymru’s Advice Online Service.
According to the Welsh Government Statistical Release November 25th 2021 for September 2021, on 30 September 2021, 6,935 people were in temporary accommodation, an increase of 118 from 31 August 2021. 1,742 of these were dependent children aged under 16, an increase of 97 from 31 August 2021.