Bath YFC is working alongside Bath YMCA to address some of the needs of young homeless people in Bath and North East Somerset. The work is still developing and is a response to research carried out by Kat Lazenby as part of a partnership between Bath YFC and St. John’s Hospital, during 2014-15. Following the research Kat produced a report, which was presented to the community, statutory and voluntary sector. It can be downloaded by clicking here..
‘Homelessness was more than just the lack of a house; it was about having a lack of stability and proper base from which to lead their life. Importantly, it was also about a lack of support and not having family around you. It was also feeling tired and frustrated and ending up in conflict with people around you. It was also associated with having a lack of money and literally not being able to afford essentials like food’ (Quilgars, Fitzpatrick & Pleace, 2011)
Since publishing the report Bath YFC and Bath YMCA have been working together to respond to the needs of young homeless people in the following ways.
We are working closely with Bath YMCA to develop a Bath Nightstop:
- Through a network of Volunteer Hosts who will offer a warm room to stay in their own home, an evening meal, breakfast, support and compassion
- Volunteer Hosts will be supported by a Bath Nightstop Host Coordinator and Key worker, receive training and will be paid expenses for the cost of the meals that they provide
- The Host coordinator and key worker will support young people who are at risk of becoming homeless by giving them independent expert advice, helping them to return home where this is possible, supporting them when and where they need it and securing a safe place to stay through the Host Network when no one else can help
- Bath YMCA and Bath Youth for Christ (Bath YFC) will work closely to develop ongoing support and longer term accommodation for those who need it.
If you are interested in hosting please get in touch with Kat by emailing her.
We are working towards establishing a four bed supported housing project providing tailored support, according to need, for young people aged 16-24 who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness in B&NES. We will support young people in five main ways:
1) Provide young people with a safe and secure home environment, in which to live.
Plant House will focus on providing relational support for young people whilst they are in the accommodation. This is because we believe that it is this support that will make a difference for the young people involved.
Therefore young people will be supported 24 hours a day, seven days a week by staff who will focus on providing a safe and nurturing base from which they can develop emotionally, socially, educationally, physically and spiritually.
2) Provide holistic support to young people to overcome the factors that have contributed to them becoming homeless.
“In most cases where young people become homeless there have been historical needs within the family, domestic abuse, separation of parents, parental substance use, mental health maybe bereavement issues. Generally speaking for most of the young people that become homeless at 16 or 17 there have been a whole heap of factors over the 16 years that they’ve been alive, within the family that have indicated that maybe they will be at risk of becoming homeless at some point.” (Local professional)
As a result young people who have experienced homelessness are much more likely than average to have poor mental health. We want to give young people opportunity to overcome some of these painful experiences and so we will offer counselling support to every resident.
3) Support young people to become all they can be through long term mentoring.
Young people accommodated in the project will meet regularly with a trusted adult mentor who will not be tied to the project and who will provide a listening ear, support and encouragement for the young person. This will be a safe place for the young person to build relationship that will provide ongoing support even after the young person has moved on from the accommodation.
4) Support young people to engage with education, employment and training based on their abilities and skills.
We want to help young people to discover a vocation that they love so we will help young people to think about the future and to access training, education and employment.
We aim to partner with local businesses and organisations to enable young people to engage with work experience allowing them to discover what they want to do in the future.
5) Support young people to move on into independence.
We will offer a stay of up to two years, this will provide young people with the time to develop the skills they need in order to transition into adulthood and independence. From the very start of their time with us we will be preparing the young person for the transition into independence. Young people will be supported to secure long term appropriate housing to move on from the project. Young people will be offered expert advice and guidance to seek move on accommodation and housing.
To find out more about our developing work with young people affected by homelessness please contact Kat Lazenby on 01225 336055 or email her.