This programme sought to provide a space for meaningful interaction between different sectors working with youth homelessness, policy makers, front-line staff and young people experiencing homelessness to share an essential and critical commitment to build service provision that incorporates their views and needs. The aim was not just to give voice to homeless youth but to listen to their voices and learn from this process to implement social change.

In 2018/2019 Scotland had 36,465 homelessness applications. Almost one third of this amount consisted of those aged between 16 to 25 years old (Scottish Government, 2018). These young people are particularly vulnerable, and their families face multiple and complex needs that should be addressed by different services, during the different stages of homelessness (before becoming homeless, during and after). Understanding the numerous pathways on this journey regarding their rights to receive wider, person-centred and simultaneous care, this project focused its attention on what is essential for improving professional practice and service provision for these groups. Through a reflexive mapping approach for health and social care integration, the voices of these young people were incorporated using elements of arts, music and theatre of the oppressed. Respecting and facilitating their own methods of communication, this programme legitimised their knowledge, experiences and beliefs to identify what is meaningful to them in terms of the need to receive the right type of support at the right stage of their journey. The findings have produced recommendations on main principles to guide the work with young people and to improve youth homelessness service provision. Forty-five national and international organizations and services were involved in this programme.

*Image reproduced by a young participant experiencing homelessness during a series of workshops on health promotion and citizenship delivered by DHRU – University of Dundee in partnership with Rock Trust, with the permission of the author. Edinburgh, 2016

Programme Team

Dr Andrea Rodriguez, University of Dundee

Prof. Ruth Freeman, University of Dundee

Prof. Gerry Humphris, University of St Andrews

Margaret-Ann Brunjes, Glasgow Homelessness Network

Moira Mackay, Rock Trust

Gavin Crichton, Active Inquiry Arts Company

Jules Oldham, Homelessness Action Scotland

Prof. Isobel Anderson, University of Stirling 

Derek Hart, Action for Children

Dr Ann Swinney, University of Dundee

Dr Fernando Fernandes, University of Dundee

Celia Watt, NHS Lanarkshire

Clayse Moreira, Center for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents – CEDECA Rio, Brazil

Ailsa Mcallister, Health and Social Care Partnership Dundee City Council

Dr Marit Ursin, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Deborah Nolan, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice, University of Strathclyde

Neiva Vieira, Federal University of Ceará, Brazil

Nilza Rogéria Nunes, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sabrina Galella, A Way Home Scotland

Dave Close, Hot Chocolate Trust

Janice Stevenson, LGBT Youth Scotland

Lewis O’Neill, Scottish Youth Parliament

Siyang Yuan, University of Dundee

Final Report


  • Dont Give Up On Us!

    This comic highlights the perspectives of young people who have experienced homelessness, the support they have received and the barriers to accessing services.

    The comic is designed to pose questions about the experiences of receiving and delivering services, and it is hoped that young people and practitioners will use it to prompt discussion about the multiple challenges we all face in trying to reduce and eventually eliminate youth homelessness. It is intended to be part of the training package addressed to those working (or desiring to work) with people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, from third sector organisations, education, and health boards.

Written by Andrea Rodriguez, Chris Murray, Camila Biazus-Dalcin, and Moira Mackay.
Artwork, lettering and colours by Clio Ding.



  • Video: Helping Young People Feel at Home

Available with subtitles in English or Portuguese

Feedback on video / Avaliação de Vídeo


If you watched the video "Helping young people to feel at home" we would like to invite you to respond to our short survey. This will help us to build the next steps into helping young people that experience homelessness in Scotland and in other countries. It takes less than 3 minutes to take part in the survey. We would be grateful for your opinion. Thank you very much. Your feedback is important.