Record number of youths in shelters

8th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Nearly 8,800 young Dutch people checked into shelters in 2010 because they were homeless or as a result of domestic violence.

Sector organisation FO ‘Federation Shelter’ speaks of a record number of admittances. Between 2008 and late 2010 the number of young people between the age of 18 and 22 in shelters increased from 6,275 to 7,196.

In addition 1,595 children between the ages of 12 and 17 were admitted to shelters. FO has called on the government to address the problems facing young homeless people, which include low levels of education and their financial position.

The sector organisation argues that current cabinet policies will only exacerbate these problems. FO is deeply concerned about the effects of planned budget cuts to benefits for young disabled people, sheltered workshops and welfare benefits.

From early next year, young people under 27 will face a four-week waiting period before they are eligible to receive welfare benefits. FO says the measure will adversely affect young people unable to fall back on their parents for assistance after being released from youth care and youth detention facilities.

The organisation also argues for improving the financial position of young people between the ages of 18 and 20 who at present are not eligible for full social security benefits because their parents legally are still fully responsible for their children’s finances.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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