More youngsters are homeless, councils can’t cope

The number of homeless people in the Netherlands has risen 10% over the past four years to over 60,000, according to the Dutch emergency shelter federation, as quoted by broadcaster Nos.

The largest relative rise is among the over-65s, who now account for 3,000 of the homeless total, a 43% rise on 2010, the federation said. Over 6,000 under-25s are also classed as homeless, a rise of 14%.

Television current affairs show Nieuwsuur visited emergency shelters around the country and found most were overflowing.

Researcher Mathijs Tuynman from the Trimbos Institute told the programme it was noteworthy that local councils did not appear to be able to stop youngsters without family support from becoming homeless. Less than half of local councils have the capacity to look after these vulnerable youths, Tuynman said.

‘Adults often have problems, such as years of addiction, so homeless shelters are not an appropriate place for youngsters,’ he said. ‘This is particularly the case if you are trying to get an education and need a place to study.’

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