Media Release: 75,000 children homeless in Britain this Christmas, Shelter Scotland warns

MORE than 75,000 (1) children in Britain will wake up homeless on Christmas Day – 5,300 of them in Scotland – housing and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland, has warned today.

Shelter Scotland is highlighting the figures to launch its new campaign to raise awareness of the plight of homeless families in Britain this Christmas and the poor quality of temporary accommodation they are forced to live in.

In June this year, there were 10,466 households in temporary accommodation across Scotland with 157,000 families and individuals on council waiting lists.

Last December, Shelter Scotland helped more than 1,000 people at risk of becoming homeless over the festive period.

This December also, the charity is expecting even greater numbers of people who have nowhere else to turn to contact them for help. Shelter Scotland is calling on people to support its vital work in helping families and individuals when the worst has happened.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, says:

“It’s easy to think of homelessness as single people sleeping rough. What people don’t often consider is the rising numbers of families who, through no fault of their own, have lost their home and have no permanent roof over their heads. For people with children, ‘sofa surfing’ with friends and family just isn’t a realistic option and the temporary accommodation they are forced to stay in is often unsuitable and of poor quality.

“Every day, our helpline hears more stories of cockroaches, health problems, bad landlords and bitter cold. It’s a disgrace – and we need people’s support to do something about it.”

Data from Shelter Scotland’s helpline and advice services shows that the main causes of homelessness include relationship breakdowns and job and income losses leading to eviction or home repossession.

Graeme Brown continued:

No child should be homeless at Christmas. Every December, Shelter Scotland’s helpline and advisors deal with thousands of people at risk of losing their home. We need everyone’s support in the coming months so our teams can help prevent families from becoming homeless, and if the worst happens, support them to get a decent roof over their heads.”

Visit and make a donation to support our work to prevent homelessness and give a child a warm, secure home this Christmas.


Notes to Editors:

(1) Children in Temporary Accommodation.

England: DCLG, figures for June 2012 published September 2012.

Scotland: Scottish government, figures for June 2012 published October 2012

Wales: Welsh Government, figures for June 2012 published in September 2012-10-31

  1. Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit or call 0808 800 4444.
  1. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
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Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

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Contact: Shelter Scotland
Phone: 08445152442