A NEW scheme to provide support to young people threatened with homelessness has been launched in Evesham.
Wychavon has invested £660,000 in creating the supported housing accommodation at Merstow Place in partnership with youth homelessness charity St Basils.
The scheme will provide eight rooms with shared facilities for 16 to 25-year-olds. There will also be two self-contained flats, which will be used as training flats to give young people experience of independent living, before they move on to suitable accommodation.
St Basils will manage the scheme which will provide a supported home environment for young people to thrive with support and training around things like budgeting, independent living skills, education and employment.
The aim is to enable young people to access and maintain their own accommodation in the future and prevent them from developing more complex needs which may be more difficult to solve and could ultimately lead to them sleeping rough.
Young people moving into the scheme will have a local connection to Wychavon district and will have approached the council’s housing service for help.
Services including the NHS, Community Mental Health Teams, voluntary sector organisations and private and social landlords will work with St Basils to help make the scheme a success.
Wychavon’s housing service will monitor the success of the project and it is expected most young people will stay between eight to 12 months before moving on.
The scheme will fill a gap in support for homeless young people at a time when need is growing. In the first three months of this financial year alone Wychavon prevented 30 young people from becoming homeless and another 49 were offered advice and support.
Coun Chris Day, executive board member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing said: “It’s the first time we have done anything like this, and we’re excited to get started.
“The work done at Merstow Place will truly transform young people’s lives, keep them away from the streets, and give them the skills and confidence they need to live independently and successfully.”
Ben Taylor, director of Housing for St Basils, said: “The complexity of the challenges young people experience when at risk of homelessness can’t be resolved by one organisation alone.
“This partnership will ensure that young people who need us in the area will have the support and resources they need to thrive and become successful members of the community.”