hyh has been preventing homelessness since 1998, providing education, advice and support to young people in our local community to ensure that they have someone safe and knowledgeable to turn to.

 

At hyh we are always looking to improve and innovate, making sure our variety of crucial services are running smoothy and reaching as many young people that need them as possible. But it’s so important to pause, and reflect on how hyh came to be in the first place.

 

Throughout our proud history, we are pleased to have collaborated with many different statutory, county council, local authority and charity partners as well as funders to support our vital work with families and young people. We also wish to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has worked for us or chosen to support us with donations, raising awareness or sharing their time, experience or skills.

 

However, our work is not done. The cost of living crisis and predicted rise in youth homelessness, the strains on young people’s mental health, the lack of social housing and high costs of private rented accommodation mean that we must continue to offer our vital services for the foreseeable future.

 

We will add to this timeline in the future, as we grow and improve, continuing our mission to break the cycle of youth homelessness in Hertfordshire.

 

Find out more about our future strategy here.

 

Find out 25 ways you can support hyh this year, or other ways to get involved.

 

 
 

 


 

History of Herts Young Homeless 1998-2024

 

1998

Crouchfield Homeless Project is founded, linked into Hertfordshire Youth Service and funded by the Crouchfield Trust.
 

2000

Sue Frost joins as County Coordinator and the charity becomes Herts Young Homeless Group – HYHG. 
Turnover is about £120k with 17 full and part time staff and a board of 8 people. Head office based in Breaks Manor Youth Centre attic.
 
4 projects are established –  in Waltham Cross, in old Hemel, in Ware (with a tiny portakabin in car park) – and in Hatfield. One worker is based in The YMCA building in Watford.
Student placements were an important part of the development of the service and started the relationship with Herts University.
 

2004

 

Moved to Old Hatfield with an open day in the summer for all stakeholders.
 

 

2005

 

The education service is established to ensure that young people in schools know where they can get help and support.
Crashpad, emergency temporary accommodation for young people aged 16 and 17 is established as a key activity county-wide.
Mediation training started, with a focus on families in conflict, who might be at risk of family breakdown. Mediation continued to grow as a key prevention strategy.
Outreach workers help young people by making sure they claim the correct benefits, budgeting, learning tenancy sustainment and independent living skills, securing education and training opportunities. Priority is given to vulnerable care-leavers.
 

2005/6

Glenn Middleton joins as Deputy and Sue Frost is made Chief Executive.
 

Mid 2000’s

I-Pro, the first service user involvement project is launched.
HHAH – Herts Health Action for the Homeless is launched
Conference held at All Saints Pastoral Centre in St Albans . Service users made a film, Home from Homeless
 
Two balls are held at Hatfield House to raise funds.
Staff days out include trips to the seaside, keeping the family atmosphere in the charity.
 

2000- 2008

Sue represents hyh on the Homeless Link Board in London
hyh take part in meetings with Grant Shapps when he was shadow Housing Minister to represent the interests of young people with housing issues
 

2008

Significant funding secured from Hertfordshire County Council to launch the integrated Young Persons Homeless Support Service. 
 

March 2009

Sue Frost leaves and is eventually replaced by Glenn as Chief Executive
 

2010

Friends of HYH is formed to raise funds and awareness for the charity and continues to this date
 

2017

The service user involvement project- originally called I-Pro- was further developed and rebranded as Live-Life with strong Board support. Service users become involved with recruitment, fundraising and education.
 

2010- 2023

A fundraising team was developed to add new sources of funding to the organisation, reducing the dependence on restricted income.
The team continue to work closely with grant funders, corporate and community partners as well as individual donors and promote a range of fundraising challenges and events including the iconic St Albans Sleepout.
 
The website was launched and social media comms became crucial for raising awareness
 

2015

Helen Elliott joins as Chief Executive and oversees improvements in income generation, kpi and financial reporting.
 

2019

Peter Holland joins as Chair of Trustees, overseeing a board of ten, with a wide range of commercial and not-for-profit experience.
 

2022

 
First supported accommodation project is opened, Future Roots in Welwyn Garden City, offering a family home environment to five young people aged 18-24
The work of the Education team expanded and they now offer 5 programmes in schools and colleges across the county.
Meeting the needs of young people facing challenges of mental health and substance misuse has become increasingly important in recent years.