Today, the Lord Mayor of York will be officially opening a new specialist service which has been set up to support young homeless people in York, helping them into employment and independent living. The new service will also provide accommodation for up to 20 young people and provide educational activities, allowing young homeless people to develop their abilities.
An existing hostel, based in Acomb, has been transformed into a hub for homeless people aged between 16 and 21, and renamed Howe Hill for Young People (HH4YP). Vulnerable homeless young people will be given intensive resettlement support, helping them to rebuild their lives, find work, and manage a home of their own.
Young homeless people attending Howe Hill will be educated in life skills and given support concerning how to maintain a tenancy, independent living skills, employment preparation, budgeting, cooking, sexual health and personal relationships.
A 24 hour support team will be on site, and Leaving Care Team members, Youth Offending Team members, and substance misuse and mental health workers will also work alongside and provide support for young homeless people using the service.
Howe Hill supports young people at a vulnerable time in their lives when many aspects of life are developing and changing. Young people may be leaving education, leaving the family home, beginning a career, and developing relationships at this stage in their lives. Services at Howe Hill will help vulnerable young people to navigate through such life events.
Services such as Howe Hill for Young People are becoming increasingly vital to those experiencing or facing homelessness at time when many people have been hit by the recession, homelessness has seen a rise, and reports have shown that homeless people are likely to die younger. Around 8,000 young people experience homelessness each year (Depaul UK). These figures could even be higher as they do not account for the hidden homeless who are unknown to services.
Cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services, Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing said: “It is vital we support young people who are finding that starting out in York can be difficult in these challenging times. Since the centre opened its doors in January, the project has supported 45 young people, ensuring that they get the help they need to manage successful tenancies, find work and lead healthier lives”.