Pregnant teenager sleeping in a tent in Chichester


A PREGNANT 19-year-old, who has come out of care, is sleeping in a tent in Chichester, because she has nowhere else to go.

Sally-Anne Pearson has found herself living in a tent in Parklands, with her partner Max Cleverly, 17.

Sally-Anne, whose baby is due in December, said there was no-one to help them get out of the situation they are in.

“I have been homeless for about six months,” said Sally.

She had been living in Westward House Sheltered Housing after she left care, but was thrown out for owing rent.

“The council said they would not help until I pay that off,” she said.

She claims she thought she only had to pay for electric at the sheltered housing.

As well as living in a tent, her partner Max is unable to get medicine for asthma, as he has no fixed address, and cannot claim job seekers allowance, meaning doctors cannot give him a prescription.

“My medicine is going to run out,” said Max.

Sally-Anne said she could get support from homeless charity Stonepillow, but they could not take in Max as he is under 18, meaning the pair would be apart.

She said the council was unable to help her.

“They are saying there is nothing they can do for me until have paid off the housing arrears, which I am trying to do,” said Sally-Anne.

A West Sussex County Council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of this young woman’s situation. We are always ready to help young care leavers, however, they must want to co-operate with us to make that help work successfully.

“We help young care leavers in a number of ways. For example, this could be financially with help setting them up with basic furnishings in their first home or through our supported lodgings network where young people can live until they are 24 if they are still in education.

“We try to stay in touch with all our care leavers, preferably to the age of 21 if they want us to, and we remain involved with degree students until they have graduated.”

What do you think of Sally-Anne’s situation?
Should more be done to help care leavers or is enough being done?

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