75,000 children homeless

Seventy-five thousand children will wake up homeless on Christmas Day, housing charity Shelter has warned.

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What is homelessness?

Homelessness in England means not having a home - most people who are homeless don't sleep on the street, according to charity Shelter.

Shelter say that even if you have a roof over your head you can still be homeless.

This is because you may not have any rights to stay where you live or your home might be unsuitable for you due to severe overcrowding or other reasons, it added.

The council must 'check whether you are legally classed as homeless before it can decide what help you are entitled to', say the charity.

Homelessness statistics

  • Last year alone saw 6,130 more households in England left homeless in 2011/12 - a rise of almost 14%, according to figures from SSentif.
  • Regionally, the highest percentage increase was the East of England, with the number of cases rising from 3,660 in 2009/10 to 5,270 in 2011/12 - a 44% increase.
  • The South East has seen a 38% rise in the number of households without a home, with 5,320 cases in 2011/12 compared with 3,870 in 2009/10.
  • London had a 34% rise in the number of homeless households, to 12,720 cases in 2011/12 from 9,460 in 2009/10.

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Homeless charity launch Christmas appeal

Shelter's helpline and local advice centres helped more than 1,000 people at risk of becoming homeless over the festive period last year.

The charity is launching an emergency Christmas appeal for public support.

No child should be homeless at Christmas. Every December, Shelter's helpline and advice centres deal with thousands of people at risk of losing their home.

We need everyone's support in the coming months so our advisers can help prevent families from becoming homeless, and help them into a home if the worst should happen.

– Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter

Visit shelter.org.uk to make a donation or text HOMES to 87085 to give £3 to Shelter emergency Christmas appeal.

Shelter: 'Children hit by rise in homelessness'

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 often just isn't a realistic option.

– Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter

75,000 children 'will wake up homeless on Christmas day'

Seventy-five thousand children will wake up homeless on Christmas Day, housing charity Shelter has warned today.

More than two children in schools will be homeless over Christmas Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

New figures have revealed that more than two children in every primary school in Britain will be homeless over the festive period - enough children to fill 333 primary schools.

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