Learn more about Future Roots
Youth homelessness is a growing problem, and we know that the acutest challenges are often faced by those who are leaving supported accommodation – last year our 18+ Hub received over 500 calls for help, and our Floating Support team received 305 referrals.
Using a 6 bedroom house rented from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, we want to create a home to help transition vulnerable young people, aged 18 to 24 years old, from homelessness to independent living.
These will predominantly be young people who are leaving supported accommodation such as hostels.
The aim of the work is to help the young person achieve the social and financial stability and the necessary level of confidence and emotional maturity that they need to live independently.
A live-in Support Worker will provide advice, guidance and support to assist these young people to overcome the emotional, social and practical issues they face, and which prevent them from achieving sustainable independence.
Vulnerable young people can face a number of personal, social, and economic barriers which at best hinder, and in many cases make impossible, their ability to live independently for a sustained period of time, without support in place. These young people can find it difficult to sustain their first tenancies. They may have low education achievement, under-developed life skills, low confidence and self-esteem, and poor, or non-existent, social or family support networks. They may develop a chaotic life style and without sustained help and support, this can lead to a downward spiral which may make it even harder for them to sustain a "normal" life, including keeping a roof over their heads
On the other hand, if they can be supported to help themselves at this critical time, and given the appropriate help, they can overcome these barriers to become self-sustaining and valuable members of the community. Evidence shows that this is best achieved through providing these young people with a full range of support, advice, intervention and advocacy, in caring and nurturing surroundings.
The Support Worker has a key role, being responsible for establishing a considerate and empowering environment, and aiming to create a caring “family” atmosphere, where those living in the home are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves, their fellow tenants, and their own journey towards independent living. The Support Worker will also ensure that those living in the home accept and abide by the house rules.
They will assess each tenant’s personal, social and recreational needs, and the best approach to meet their requirements, and as well as providing emotional support, work with each individual to create a realistic and holistic action plan for their future, coordinating their work with colleagues within hyh, and with housing, health and social care professionals, and benefits, welfare and advocacy agencies, as appropriate.
Comprehensive support and assistance will be available from hyh’s specialist teams, including Floating Support, Mediation and Live Life. This could include help with, accessing training and education, preparation for, and finding, employment, financial planning, budgeting, and debt advice, opening a bank account, and eventually, finding accommodation, trauma counselling, and where necessary mental health, and substance misuse.
Most often, a young person’s only option for their first independent home will be living in shared space accommodation, so another key element of their personal development while living in the house, will be their learning, and gaining experience of the social and communication skills that are needed for sharing, resolving potential conflict resolution, and how to be a good co-tenant.
We are not looking for a quick fix. The focus is on providing intensive support with a view to achieving a successful outcome, and there is no time limit on how long a young person can stay. It is expected that, typically, they will be ready to move on from project within 18 months, as they succeed in achieving independent living, but they will continue to be able to access any assistance and support they may need for some time after that.
At least 5 young people will benefit from the project in its first year. A Live-in Support Worker has been appointed and construction work has started to convert the house. We expect the house to welcome its first tenants in November 2021. Read more about the need for this exciting new project