"Home" is meant to be where you belong, a safe and comfortable place where you can relax and be accepted for who you are. But for a lot of young people, that isn't happening.

There are a lot of reasons why where you live might be giving you a rough time.

Where you live

It might be as straightforward as not having a home. Or one that is constantly changing because your family moves around a lot.

Perhaps it's in a poor state of repair or unhygienic, or overcrowded.

Maybe you don't feel safe there because of the neighbourhood, or even someone else in your household.

There are ways to assist young people over 16 to live safely and independently. Find out about how you might get somewhere safe, suitable, comfortble and affordable - long term.

Citizens Advice, Connexions, Centre 33 and Childline can all help by listening to you and advising you. The Housing Benefit team can explain your options and help you to find something suitable.

If you are under 16 you may also need help to get out of an unsuitable environment. You may be able to live with friends or different members of your family, or even be in care if that is the best and safest option. Social Services have a duty to keep you safe. Contact them yourself or ask an adult (for example a teacher) you can trust.

Who are you living with?

Are there just too many people in your home and it's overcrowded?

Are you living on your own and wish you weren't? Or are you living with other people and wish you could be on your own?

Is someone in your home abusing you or making you feel unsafe? GTRT has advice for people being abused. You do not have to put up with this - you should be able to feel safe in your own home. If you feel unsafe in an emergency dial 999 and ask for the police. Social services have a duty to protect your safety and you can also call them during the day and on an out of hours emergency number.

Are you in care or living with relatives or friends rather than your immediate family?

Whoever you live with, if it's not working out between you, where you live can cause you some problems. It's normal for families to have disagreements but if it gets unbearable you may need some space. There are also family mediation groups who can help you try to understand each other and communicate better at home so you can get on better.

If the reason you cannot get on with your family at home is that your are from a family with a cultural background where they want you to behave or dress differently to how you want, for instance they want you to dress traditionally, force you into marriage, make you observe a particular religion or stop you seeing your friends and being like a normal teenager in Britain, have a look at GTRT's section Cultural differences.

Some young people feel they have no alternative but to leave home or run away. But it is very hard to survive on your own without careful planning and support. Read more on the GTRT page "Left home or run away?".

It may be possible to sort out whatever problems there are so you don't need to go, but it might also be possible to help you find somewhere else if that would be better or safer for you.

How do you find out what to do?

Shelter offer a freephone (from landlines and major mobile networks) advice service for all housing problems including homelessness. Their website can also help you find out about almost every kind of question or problem to do with housing and they can help you find local advice too.
Homeless UK have a huge directory of services and places you may be able to get help locally. Citizens Advice, Connexions and the YMCA  can also help you understand you rights and options.

The page was last updated on 31 January 2014 by andrea.bateman.

explore a guide to rough times

Contact our PALS team

need help, fast?

find out who to contact in a crisis

What's your problem?

what's making things rough?

explore the issues affecting your emotional and physical wellbeing

Get a life

enhance your life

find out how to boost your self esteem, relax and recharge

My liked pages

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust,Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital,Cambridge, CB21 5EF,T 01223 726789