Our award-winning Support and Development approach has enabled us to help over 75,000 homeless young people since 1969. We provide much more than just housing - we ensure young people are healthy, help them to learn new skills, increase their employability and ultimately give them a future.
Being homeless takes its toll on a young person's physical and mental health. They are often not registered with a doctor and consequently have little awareness of how to live healthily. A high number of the young people who come to us having slept rough suffer from mental and physical health problems, or misuse drugs or alcohol.
A Support and Development worker will work with the young person to identify and address their personal needs, either directly or with support from external agencies and primary health care services. Our health team also extends to healthy living advice, helping young people to improve their health and fitness, diet, sexual health, exercise and access to NHS services.
Mental health problems can be one of the factors that lead a young person to become homeless and are eight times more likely for people living in hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation, and 11 times higher for those who sleep rough, compared to the general population. We have a dedicated mental health team to help young people affected by these issues.
Many homeless young people have missed out on formal education and vocational training.
Our learning team assess each young person's needs, goals and aspirations when they arrive and work out a Support and Development plan with them to help them get their life back on track, including:
- Information, advice and guidance - support into education and training
- Workwise - accredited support into employment and work-related opportunities
- ICT - accredited support and developing young people's inclusion in digital media
- Sportswise - access to recreation and physical activities to encourage health and wellbeing and develop talent
- Skills for life - help to achieve functional skills and qualifications
- Moneywise - support to overcome financial exclusion and indebtedness
Some young people need support to resume formal education and complete college courses. Others need more intensive support and the motivation to start learning again after negative or disrupted experiences of education.
For many young people, moving on from our services can be daunting, particularly for those who have never lived alone. We help them to move on to independent living by focusing on the practical, personal and social skills they will need.
We help young people maintain their tenancies and claim benefits, and provide advice on ways to get into learning and work. We also support them to find suitable accommodation and pay the deposit, using our innovative rent deposit scheme.