Housing First for Youth Project
The Housing First for Youth (HFFY) Project Premises consist of a block of 5 self-contained, furnished flats, each with kitchens, and a large office area with a communal room and washing facilities, all monitored by CCTV.
Each individual flat was furnished and equipped to a high level, in line with P.I.E philosophy. Our goal is to ensure that each person accessing the project and designated flat is treated with dignity and respect. This has, in part, been demonstrated by the high standard of accommodation provision. We are making every conscious effort to reduce the often unseen reasons why certain young people might feel threatened, unsettled, uncared for or unwanted. This has already had a marked impact upon mental health and the general well-being of our occupants.
We have increased our staffing provision and availability including evenings and weekends, along with a Psychologically Informed Environments (P.I.E.) philosophy which seeks to engage with, rather than wait to be engaged that so often alienates young persons and disqualifies them from the very help they require.
We researched widely similar HFFY Projects running across the UK, as well as in Finland and Canada. Research was undertaken to formulate a unique multi-agency allocations assessment procedure for the HFFY Project. This ensures that we are focusing on those at highest risk of exclusion, homelessness, poor well-being and with a high probability of offending/reoffending. Our clients score high on the C.H.A.O.S index along with facing multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (A.C.E’s).
Upon acceptance and entry into the HFFY Project, each Young Person is asked what support they have historically received, or currently are accessing. We carefully discern along with their case notes, what additional or complementary support might be offered. Through discussion, options are then sensitively offered using assertive outreach methodologies. We offer a multi-agency wrap around complementary support service.
The Housing First for Youth project is very much a collaborative venture that is providing referral pathways for several local authority departments, particularly housing, youth offending, social services (leaving care), etc.
It is a positive response to youth homelessness, one that avoids them from entering homelessness again or helps them exit the situation with the necessary support to ensure they do not return.
The Project offers housing provision for 16 to 25 year olds who are :
- Homeless or threatened with homelessness;
- care leavers;
- Young people who have been through the youth justice system
- Young people suffering from mild to moderate learning disabilities (though falling below the bespoke packages of care threshold)
Other referral pathways are also considered and utilised.