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Social Security

This section covers young people's recommendations on financial support for state schools to reduce the costs of the school day, the right to food, and introducing a housing-first policy to eliminate homelessness.

A purple graphic of a house

Housing First

Based on previous SYP policy on this issue, we asked Scotland’s young people if ‘Anyone experiencing homelessness should receive support and shelter, and therefore, the ‘Housing First’ policy should  be introduced across Scotland.’ This is a system that gives anyone homeless their own safe home & then provides a support structure to help them keep their tenancy and re-integrate into society. 87.9% agreed, 4.6% disagreed, 7.4% didn’t know.

[It’s important to] give not just a home, but a safe neighbourhood, the ability to interact with people and access to good services near-by, making it as easy as possible to integrate into an area.

– A member of Interfaith Scotland

Cabinet Blog – Shelter is a Human Right

In March 2020 Josh Kennedy MSYP gave a speech to the Scottish Cabinet calling for a housing first policy. You can read Josh’s speech in full by clicking here, or here is a snippet of it:

“Anyone at some point in their life can find themselves without a place to stay, or call a home, and for too many this has become a harsh reality.

When this does happen to young people, they’re often trapped with no escape.

In fact, 57% of those who filled an application to Scottish council’s under statutory homelessness legislation were under 35, a staggering figure.

On top of this, Shelter Scotland has reported that around 15 in a thousand young people aged under 25 are registered as homeless- that is around 50% higher than the 25 to 29 age bracket.

Therefore it’s more than clear that we need action.

When looking at this issue and the best way to solve it, I started talks with Social Bite, an organisation which aims to eradicate poverty and help lift people out of it.

They have been working towards Scotland fully adopting the ‘Housing First’ Policy.

Which, for the benefit of those in the room who haven’t heard of this before, is a basic principle of guaranteeing a house for everyone that needs it, regardless of the other issues that may be going on in their lives.

The right to food

Food security has become an increasing concern for young people across the country. 90.4% agreed that ‘The right to food should be upheld in Scotland by creating a fair, healthy and sustainable food system that is accessible to everyone.’ 3.5% disagreed, 6.2% didn’t know.

I stay in a flat by myself with my son and I’m on universal credit because I can’t work. There have been times where I’ve went a week without having stuff to eat because I could only afford to feed my son.

– A young parent

Cost of the school day

We asked young people to tell us whether ‘State schools should be financially supported by decision-makers to reduce  or eliminate the costs of:’ the following things:

  • School meals (Agree: 85.4% Disagree: 7.9% Don’t know: 6.7%)
  • Uniforms (Agree: 79.6% Disagree: 12.9% Don’t know: 7.5%)
  • School trips (Agree: 69.4% Disagree: 18.7% Don’t know: 11.9%)
  • Stationery and jotters (Agree: 82.6 Disagree: 9.7% Don’t know: 7.7%) 
  • Extra curricular activties (Agree: 73.6% Disagree: 13.9% Don’t know: 12.5%) 
  • Applications for university (Agree: 84.3% Disagree: 7.1% Don’t know: 8.6%)
  • Travel to and from school (Agree: 84.6% Disagree: 7.8% Don’t know: 7.5%) 
  • Attending work experience (Agree: 81.4% Disagree 8.5% Don’t know: 10.1%)

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