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Homeless campaigner who lived on streets says Scots kids being hit hardest

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Shea Moran dedicated his life to ending youth homelessness after being thrown out of his family home at the age of 16.The dedicated homeless support worker has now warned of a rough sleeping crisis sweeping Scotland – with young people bearing the brunt.

Shea’s troubled teen years led to sleeping on the street and then a job with the homelessness charity which acts as his employer, the Rock Trust.The 29-year-old warned the current crisis – caused by a chronic lack of homes – has led to new, alarming rises in youth homelessness.Shea, who runs the Aff the Streets blog for the Rock Trust and advises the Scottish Government, said: “The situation is extremely worrying.

For the first time in 13 years, the number of homeless young people is going up. Youth homelessness is massively over-represented in the overall homelessness population. “Young people, aged 16 to 25, account for 10 to 12 per cent of Scotland’s population but account for almost a quarter of homelessness applications.” Shea said a large “hidden” and under-reported group exists – of young people who are LGBT.He added: “We still have many young people who are ousted from their family homes when they come out and others who feel they can’t come out.

They are often not able to engage with their support networks and get isolated and ostracised. Things are certainly not as bad as they were a few decades ago but it’s still a problem.”Youngsters who are leaving care are also at huge risk of becoming homeless.,Shea said: “Care leavers ‘looked-after’ young people are another group that once again are hugely overrepresented in the homelessness statistics.

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