LHA London supports ‘Purple Door’ safe house project

LHA London supports Europe’s first ‘Purple Door’ safe house project.

A project in East London which helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) homeless young people is saving the taxpayer an estimated £1.5 million.

LHA London is proud to be a sponsor of the ‘Purple door’ project. Each year LHA allocates funds to small charities based within the capital. LHA London’s Chief Executive Mr. Tony Perkins said. ‘We are impressed with the commitment shown by AKT to provide emergency accommodation in London with a focus on the much needed provision of housing for young homeless people’. According to new figures released today by joint partners Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) and Circle Housing Circle 33, the ‘Purple Door’ project in London has since its launch in 2013 helped to significantly reduce costs to local authority housing services and social services by taking this support off local authorities.

Jen Smith, Head of Diversity for Circle Housing Circle 33 said: “AKT’s recent scoping report identified that one in four homeless youths identify themselves as LGBT and around 85% of the young people we help have told us they have faced some level of rejection by their parents just for being brave enough to come out.

“Purple Door in London was the first emergency accommodation service and safe house in Europe,  specifically designed for LGBT homeless young people coming to capital to escape domestic violence or hate crime as a result of coming out.

“We aim to provide accommodation that is responsive, safe, and easy to access, an option that caters for the specific needs of LGBT young people.”

Tim Sigsworth, Chief Executive for The Albert Kennedy Trust said: “Purple Door was inspired by the ideas and requests of young people accessing our services and is responding to a growing need which has resulted in a 164% increase in bed nights provided by the charity in the past two years. Our recent scoping report highlighted only 13% of housing providers recognise the unique needs of LGBT young people; so we are very proud of our partnership with Circle 33 will grow to help many more young people in need.”

Since it opened the project has housed 30 young people and 18 have been helped into a variety of accommodation, including supported housing and privately rented shared accommodation as well as into carer households.

Purple Door in London has six bedrooms, plus shared space and facilities, taking LGBT young people off the streets and providing a safe, positive space for them to regain their self-esteem and autonomy.

The young people are able to stay in the safe house for approximately 21 days whilst specialist workers provide a bespoke intervention which covers longer-term accommodation, support, mentoring, financial advice, help to get into employment, education and training, advocacy and therapeutic care.

About The Albert Kennedy Trust

The Albert Kennedy Trust is the LGBT youth homelessness charity. Founded by Cath hall in Manchester in 1989, the Trust provides safe homes, mentoring, training and support to young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness just for being brave enough to come out to their parents or care giver.

The Purple Door Project provides the UK’s only emergency safe house for LGBT young people in London, as well as providing longer term accommodation as a stepping stone to independent living in Newcastle.

Annually the AKT receives nearly 2,000 requests for support and offered 8,000 nights off the streets to young people in 2014.

For more information, go to the Circle Housing website and the Albert Kennedy Trust page.