Our residents always describe our hostels as homely, but we’re aware that many young people in London have nowhere to call home. Without this foundation in life, they’re held back from achieving their potential and living life to the full.
In partnership with some great London-based organisations we’re helping to ensure that more vulnerable young people have a safe place to live. The organisations we work with don’t simply provide a roof and a bed, they tackle the underlying causes of homelessness and ensure that young men and women get the right foundations, support and encouragement to realise their potential.
Cardinal Hume has been supporting young homeless people for more than 28 years. Through their centre in Westminster they provide accommodation for up to 30 young people with very specific, and often complex, social, emotional, mental and behavioral issues.
When Helen fled an aggressive landlord in an over crowded and dirty rented home, she spent months sleeping on friends’ sofas. She lived out of a suitcase and struggled to find work. At Cardinal Hume, Helen found a place where she felt at home, a place where she no longer lived in fear and could focus on getting her life back on track. “I will never forget what the Cardinal Hume Centre did for me or the role they played in getting me back on my feet, ” she says proudly.
Residents stay at the hostel for roughly 6-12 months. During this time, a team of support workers help individuals to tackle their issues, whilst also teaching skills such as budgeting, cooking and offering career advice to help them move toward independent living.
In 2015, LHA provided Cardinal Hume with a grant to upgrade the out of date and rapidly deteriorating bathroom facilities with modern, low-maintenance and easy-to-clean wet rooms. The residents were delighted with the results, which have helped to ensure the safe, secure and clean environment that provides such an important foundation to help young people move forward.
“LHA have helped us not only financially, but also shared knowledge and experience that they bring from running housing for young people in the local area. We’re also lucky to have a partner who knows about the issues faced by young people and understands the need for places like the Cardinal Hume Centre.”
Albert Kennedy Trust
Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) support gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans (LGBT) homeless young people in crisis. With the dangers and uncertainty of life on the streets, LGBT young people often face discrimination, violence and rejection. Every year hundreds of young people contact the Albert Kennedy Trust, because they have nowhere to turn.
When KJ came out, his family gave him an ultimatum: either go to the Middle East to be ‘cured’ or leave home. “It was possibly the toughest period of my life,” he remembers. At AKT, KJ didn’t just find a place to stay; he found people who understood the unique challenges faced by young people in his situation and could help him build a positive future.
In the last year LHA have been supporting AKT’s Purple Door Project, the UK’s only emergency safe house for LGBT young people in London. The house has six bedrooms alongside shared living facilities, taking LGBT young people off the streets and providing a safe, supportive environment where they can regain their self-esteem and independence.
Young people stay for approximately 21 days whilst specialist workers provide bespoke intervention support them through longer-term accommodation, mentoring, financial advice, education and training, advocacy and therapeutic care.
“The Albert Kennedy Trust is excited to be working with LHA London. This partnership will greatly benefit the many young LGBT people in crisis that The Albert Kennedy Trust supports every year” says Tim Sigsworth MBE, Chief Executive, The Albert Kenney Trust.
The Kipper Project
The Kipper Project work with young people from disrupted backgrounds, including those who have been through the care system or experienced homelessness and abuse.
Through their base in Tower Hamlets, the project provides stable accommodation for young people together with a wide range of services to help them develop self-belief and the skills they need to move on to independent living.
Rafik was referred to The Kipper Project after leaving foster care. With the support of keyworkers at the project, he has been given the opportunity to study for an NVQ qualification in social care. He’s also set up his own mechanic’s business, which is now thriving.
Moving into privately rented accommodation has been a huge step for Rafik and The Kipper Project have been instrumental in preparing him through their ‘Move On’ training workshops.
In the last year LHA have helped to fund the series of AQA accredited ‘Move On’ workshops, which include modules on debt management, cooking, conflict resolution and communications, to help young men and women to move out of hostel accommodation and into their own homes.
Alongside support for tenants, the scheme also builds relationships with private sector landlords so young people can find safe, well maintained affordable properties more easily.
“This grant makes an amazing difference to the lives of young people who need a stable base to grow from” says Fiona Humphrey, Chief Executive PRHA & Kipper.
Each year Safer London helps around 5,000 young people who have been affected by violence and crime. Through mentoring, workshops and practical help the organisation empowers young people to move away from violent lifestyles.
An important part of Safer London’s work is with the London Gang Exit service, a pan-London initiative that helps young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are either involved in or affected by gangs.
As part of the service, young people who want to escape the threat of a gang are helped to relocate with the support of local authority housing departments and G15 Housing Association.
Shanice was offered the housing relocation option after experiencing sexual exploitation, blackmail and witnessing violent crime. She was threatened, followed and terrified for her life. With the help of the London Gang Exit service, Shanice was moved to a safe location were a Support Worker was on hand to support her emotionally and provide very practical assistance to find a permanent home.
“There are so many other girls like me all over London, putting their lives at risk every single day through their involvement with gangs,” says Shanice. “They need to understand they are not alone and, like me, can get help and have a better future.”
Around 300 young people every year are supported by London Gang Exit. Funding provided by LHA has been used to buy white goods, furnishings and bedding for young people who are moving out of danger and into their own, safe accommodation.
“We at Safer London are extremely grateful to be working with LHA who understand the complex challenges that young people have to navigate to improve their circumstances and are willing to support them, through us, and the work we undertake, to help achieve their aims and goals.” says Desmond Edward, Specialist Resettlement and ETE Practitioner.