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6 November 2012
A report from Inside Out, aired last night, found many cases of young people - who because they are stateless – are unable to access publicly funded help and have slept rough.
Responding, Rick Henderson Chief Executive of the umbrella body Homeless Link said:
“One in ten homeless services help people who are undocumented migrants and who, because of their status, find it very hard get help from the state.
“Although no one is sure about the true extent of the issue and there is little statistical evidence that this is impacting more on young people, we do know that many undocumented migrants end up sofa surfing and incidents of exploitation and ill-health are common.
“These individuals often only avoid extreme deprivation by drawing on their own resources or by seeking help from homeless charities.
“I recently met a number of people who, because they have no recourse to public funds, are forced to sleep rough under a railway arch. This just should not be happening in modern Britain and this report from the BBC should act as a wake-up call.
“Homeless migrants often only get helped out of their situations once action is taken by the Home Office or the UKBA to resolve their status. This currently takes far too long and individuals can’t access help while they wait.
“There good examples of charities working to support individuals affected by this issue but Government needs to take action sooner and provide more resources to ensure that undocumented migrants do not end up on our streets.”