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Information, Advice and sources of support for young people in Suffolk

Becoming homeless

Sometimes, people become homeless. This is not something to be ashamed of.
Many people become homeless for many different reasons.
If you are homeless or think you may become homeless soon, here is some information you may want to look at.

On this page we cover:

  1. Running away from home
  2. Talk to someone – emotional wellbeing, advocacy
  3. Becoming homeless – take action
  4. How can the council help me?

Running Away from Home

You might

  • be arguing with a parent or relative
  • be stressed
  • be a victim of abuse or violence

There are lots of reasons to feel like you want to leave home, but think about some things before you leave.

Before you leave home, you need to think about some things:
- where will you go?
- where will you sleep?
- what will you do for money?
- how will this effect other things like school, your friends and family?
Try to answer these questions before you make any decisions.

Talk to someone

If you do feel that you need to run away try to talk to someone before you do – a teacher, relative or other trusted adult.

You can get free and confidential advice at ChildLine by calling 0800 1111.

Or visit the ChildLine website for other ways of getting help and advice: 

You could also try Kooth or texting a school nurse. Details of these and more, are in our Emotional Wellbeing Directory.

We are someone to speak to who is independent of your care givers, social worker or school and we are there to help get your voice heard and move forward if you are in a difficult situation.

Don’t feel you are being understood or listened too? Get an independent advocate, you won’t be disappointed with their support.  

What is an Advocate?

An Advocate is someone who will make sure you are fully involved in decisions being made about your life by:

  • Listening to you
  • Being on your side, helping you speak up and making sure your views are listened to
  • Helping you make a complaint if you are unhappy about your care
  • Going to meetings with you and explaining things to you

If you feel like your views aren’t being listened to or you need extra support you might find an independent advocate useful.

What is an Independent Advocate?

Someone who is completely separate from your family and the professionals involved in making decisions about your life. 

Do you need an independent advocate?

Pohwer provide an independent advocate for you, here is their leaflet and contact details: Suffolk Advocacy Service Children and Young Peoples Advocacy Leaflet (

 When you get in touch you will be referred to someone in Suffolk who can come and chat with you and take it from there.

Becoming Homeless

Being homelessness means not having a permanent home.

Most young people don’t end up sleeping on the street, but not having a consistent roof over your head can cause all sorts of problems:

  • It will be harder to get and keep a job or to carry on with your studies without the security of a home and a permanent address.
  • It will impact on your emotional health and wellbeing and can cause stress or depression.

“Take Action Now – It’s never too early to look for help.

You can call the Customer First helpline on 0808 800 4005 and speak to someone who can help you look at support for your situation.

OR speak to someone about your situation now, like a youth support worker or another adult that you trust.

Don’t wait for your situation to reach a crisis point.
How will the council help me?

In Suffolk, if you are aged 16 or 17 and you become homeless, you will be helped by workers from the County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services.

They can provide:

  • financial assistance
  • help with training and education
  • support to help you tackle personal issues

Housing in Suffolk is provided by the district and borough councils. Workers from the Suffolk County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services will work with you and the housing officers to find a solution to your problems. Find your local council.

What will happen next?

  1. Your worker will start by carrying out an assessment to help identify all the difficulties and issues that you’re having.
  2. If you have nowhere else to stay, they will sort out some temporary accommodation depending on your personal situation, local rules and what is available.
  3. Will they listen to what I want? Of course. It is important to take your wishes into account however, that does not mean that you will get exactly you want. It’s important to be realistic, as a lot will depend on what accommodation is available in your area.
  4. My worker is offering me ‘mediation’, what does this mean? – If things have become really difficult it can help if an independent person gets involved to help with communication and sort out problems that have popped up. This is called mediation. 
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Page updated on March 8th, 2023 at 04:34pm