People who know Your Own Place know that we’ve years of experience of working with fantastic young people facing all sorts of challenges as they transition to adult life. We believe wholeheartedly that with the right support at the right time, this often difficult time can be be made smoother, happier and less difficult. I have to admit that even I have felt challenged on this belief this week. In the last week two young people that we have just started working with, both leaving care and both living independently at age 18, have found themselves in total crisis. Just as winter arrives. Both have received benefit sanctions for one reason or another, one has had their Housing Benefit stopped and both are hungry, cold and totally alone. Apportioning blame to local agencies isn’t especially helpful here. It’s systems that we’ve created that are impossible to navigate if you’re young, alone, unsupported and have emotional barriers to resolving difficulties. Both young people take responsibility for their actions but don’t know where or how to start to unravel the mess they’re in. The traipsing around, with no bus fare, inadequate clothing and an empty stomach to try and put it all right would test anyone, let alone someone who neither values themselves nor the cold empty home they are returning to at the end of it. I’m not saying we have all the answers. I am glad that we were there at the right time to at least alleviate the worst excesses of hunger and cold and can now start the slow process of recovery for a young person who deserves a better start to adult life.