Nearly a dozen of Mansfield's care and institution leavers not getting 'best start at life'

Homelessness shadowed the lives of nearly a dozen people in Mansfield who left care or institutions last year, figures reveal.

By Federica Bedendo
Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 6:30 am

With thousands of vulnerable people in this situation across England, campaigners are calling for more investment in services to support the transition out of settings such as hospitals and prisons, or the care system.

Data released by the former Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government shows in the year to March, there were 10 households in Mansfield where the main applicant had left an institution with no settled accommodation to return to.

Of those, nine had already become homeless.

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The Care Leavers' Association estimates around one in 10 care leavers struggle to secure housing, with the remainder often living in unsuitable homes.

There were also eight in Ashfield, of which seven had already become homeless.

They were among 7,720 households across England who were pushed into homelessness or at risk of losing accommodation for this reason in 2020-21 – a 24 per cent rise from 2019-20.

The Care Leavers' Association estimates about one in 10 care leavers struggle to secure housing, with the remainder often living in unsuitable homes.

David Graham, CLA director, said: “If your head is still messed up about why you had to go into care, then you are less likely to be able to keep and manage your own accommodation and life.”

He said care leavers should be given priority access to housing.

“Care leavers have to leave home and live independently at a much earlier age than young people in the general population.

“There is often a feeling from care leavers that they are being left to fend for themselves. They don’t have a base to call home and can’t then work at improving other areas of life such as education and health.”

The Government said areas with higher numbers of care leavers at risk of homelessness had been receiving a share of £8.2 million to improve accommodation outcomes since 2018-19.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, extra Government funding was allocated to take 37,000 rough sleepers off the streets, while funding is also being given to councils to prevent homelessness.

A spokeswoman for the new Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – which has replaced the MHCLG – said: “Tackling rough sleeping and homelessness remains a priority for the Government and we are spending £750 million this year, including funding for drug and alcohol treatment and mental health support.”