16/17 years old and facing homelessness

If I am 16/17 what happens if I am homeless or threatened with homelessness?

If you are 16 or 17 and you are homeless you should approach Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children’s Social Care or East Cambridgeshire District Council. 
You do not need to be sleeping on the street to be homeless. If you are staying somewhere that is not safe for you because someone has been violent towards you or you are staying somewhere where you do not have legal rights to stay, you could be considered as homeless.

Who can help you?

Children’s Social Care

Their phone number is: 01353 618 200
They can help 16/17-year-olds that are homeless. In an emergency they can help find somewhere safe for you to stay the night. They will do an assessment to see if you are a ‘child in need’ (this legal term covers young people too). If they agree you are, they can help you:
  • Find a place to live (and they pay for it)
  • Get into training and education
  • Tackle personal issues like drugs or alcohol
  • Be given an allowance
  • Be given support
They are located at: Noble House, St Thomas’s Place,Ely, CB7 4EX. 

Housing Services

If you approach the Council you will have an appointment with one of our Housing Advisers and a Social Worker. The reason you will be seen by a Social Worker as well as a Housing Adviser is because at 16 and 17 years old by law you are still considered a child. A joint assessment will be carried out by Social Care and East Cambridgeshire District Council Housing Team will contact family to verify the reasons why you cannot return home.

Supported Housing

If you are 16 or 17 you should approach the Council if you are threatened with homelessness and wish to apply for supported housing projects. The Supported Housing Projects will teach you the skills you need to be able to live on your own, such as how to budget your money, understand a tenancy, set up bills and even help you into work or education.

Floating Support Services

If you need practical support, we can refer you, to the Cambridge Housing Society (external link)
They provide advice and support to:
  • 16-64 year olds in East Cambridgeshire who are homeless or at risk of homeless
  • Homeless families with support needs
  • Single homeless with support needs
  • Teenage parents
  • Offenders or people at risk of offending
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People who use drugs and alcohol
The aim of the Service is to support vulnerable people to improve their quality of life. Support can include: 
  • Finding a home and setting up a tenancy
  • Keeping the home safe and secure
  • Setting up a budget and paying bills
  • Developing life skills
  • Accessing education, training and employment
  • Helping with literacy and numeracy
  • Helping with accessing other services

How can they help?

If you can stay with someone

Whoever is helping you may need to contact your parents/guardians/somebody from your family or friends to see if there is any way you can go back home or you can stay with
them for a while when things are sorted out unless you are at risk of returning.
If you have been asked to leave by a landlord, we will negotiate with him/her as much as possible to prevent the eviction.
At all times your feelings will be taken into account and you will be listened to and no decision will be taken without your agreement and consent.

If you cannot stay with anyone else

Children’s Social Care will do their best to find you a place to stay. They may need some help from Housing Services. The accommodation could be in a hostel or supported accommodation, depending on what is available at this specific time. If they cannot find anything in the area you preferred to be in, you would have to go in other areas outside the District. The main thing is to have a roof over your head and to keep you as safe as possible.

What will happen after?

The Officer who is helping you will make an appointment for a joint assessment by a housing officer and a social worker to help you sort things out.
Make sure to bring some identification with you if you can, such as passport, National Insurance card, birth certificate, this will help you get benefits.
You can take someone you trust with you to this joint assessment.
The social worker and the housing adviser will try to find ways to help you and to do so they need to ask you some questions to find out about you and what support you may need.

Questions the social worker and housing adviser may ask

You will be asked general questions such as:
  • Your name, age and address
  • If you have a medical problems or illness and the name of your doctor
  • How you became homeless
  • Whether you have family or friends living locally who can support you even temporary
  • Your money situation. For example, whether you are at school or college, working or claiming benefits
  • Whether you have anyone to talk to when you have a problem
Do not be frightened to talk about any issues, difficulties in relationships, drug or alcohol problems or if you have been involved with the Youth Offending Service.
Important: Nothing will be done without your agreement, but you will be told what is or is not available to you

Further advice and information:

Tel: 0808 800 4444
Free housing advice helpline
Tel: 0808 2000 247
National Domestic Violence Helpline This 24-Hour Helpline service provides support, information and a listening ear to women and children experiencing domestic violence. It will also refer male callers who require help to appropriate support groups.

We want to listen we want to help

Contact us 
Tel: 01353 665555
Emergency out of hours: Tel: 07710978900