MP supports report on 'hidden homelessness'

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert pledged his support for tackling hidden homelessness at the launch of new research from youth homelessness charity Depaul UK.

160425 NH with Trevor McDonald on homelessness.jpg


Mr Herbert hosted the launch of the 'Danger Zones and Stepping Stones' report, which exposes the issue of hidden homelessness among young people in England, addressed by Depaul UK’s President, broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald. 

The event also heard from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Marcus Jones, and was attended by MPs, Peers, and Depaul International’s Patron, the Duchess of Norfolk, as well as a number of other Arundel residents. 

In a packed room at Westminster, Sir Trevor said: “The young people interviewed for this report experienced very dangerous situations in their attempts to stay off the streets, including staying with random strangers while constantly in fear of assault, lodging with an uncle addicted to hard drugs, going to all-night parties with predatory  or suggesting ‘sleepovers’ to school friends simply to find a place to stay.  

“These experiences are often termed ‘sofa surfing’, a phrase which does not adequately capture the high levels of risk young people are experiencing.” 

He added: “This vital report is just the beginning: Depaul UK is making clear recommendations aimed at preventing young people from enduring these experiences and is today calling for a national debate on hidden homelessness.” 

Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said: “We exist to make youth homelessness a thing of the past.  Our report shows that one size does not fit all when helping young people who find themselves without a place to call home. 

“No young person should have to stay in an unsafe place.  In the report, we have developed the Danger Zones and Stepping Stones Model to help identify where the dangers lie and also the stepping stones to getting young people out of homelessness.” 

Nick Herbert said: “I was delighted to host the launch of this important report and to learn more about this issue and the work of Depaul.  Hidden homelessness amongst young people is a real concern and I hope that this report will help to tackle the problems. 

“Depaul has many Arundel connections through its Patron the Duchess of Norfolk who does so much to promote this wonderful charity”. 





   1.    Photograph – Left to right - Depaul UK CEO Martin Houghton-Brown, Sir Trevor McDonald, and Nick Herbert MP.

   2.    The Executive Summary and the full version of Danger Zones and Stepping Stones can be downloaded at:

   3.    Depaul UK is a national youth homelessness charity that works to provide and support more than 125,000 bed-nights a year to homeless and vulnerable young people and has helped more than 50,000 people since it was founded in 1989.  For further information visit 

Michelle TaylorCharity