Housing and Homelessness
From our early days in the 1990s we have always recognised that there was a need for housing for young people and adults who were homeless or at great risk of becoming so. We have expanded our work over the years and now provide support across Norfolk and from 2016 Suffolk too.
The issue of homelessness is not one which people readily associate with rural areas but it is a problem that is not restricted to big cities. Our work focuses on the 16 to 25 year old age group and we provide a roof over their head and a range of support to help these people back towards an independent life. Often they come to us having had some tough times in their life to that point, for instance their relationship with their family may have broken down through no fault of their own.
The young people may approach us directly for help or be referred to us by a local authority. Once placed with us our staff will build a relationship with them and help them map out the next steps in their life. Over a period of usually six months to two years we provide support such as:
helping their education and training
finding a job and planning next career steps
developing life skills such as cooking and budgeting their money
The aim is that the young people then leave us as independent adults able to make their own way in the world.
Supported Accommodation Centres
We have accommodation centres across Norfolk and Suffolk in Fakenham (Steven Newing House), Great Yarmouth (Aspire), King's Lynn (Right Tracks) and (Butterfly House), North Walsham (Winston Court) and Thetford (Walmington Court), Aylsham (Forward Court), Norwich (Linden House)
Typically each one houses around 12-15 young people who have their own room and may share some facilities like a kitchen and TV room with the other residents. Each centre has our staff onsite 24/7. The residents all have one of our team as their regular support worker and they will work with that resident on an ongoing basis to help them become independent adults when they move on to the next stage of their life.
Some of our centres have separate "move on" flats which give greater independence and provide a transition before the residents leave us.
Supported Lodgings: Heart & Home
In 2010 we launched this service to provide a new way of supporting young people with nowhere to live. We recognised that living in our accommodation centres with other young people did not suit everyone so we set up our supported lodgings service known as "Heart and Home".
The service provides homeless young people, usually aged 16 or 17, with a room of their own in the home of one of our host families. We recruit the families carefully and provide them with comprehensive support and training. This enables them to play a vital role in helping these teenagers get their lives back on track after experiencing some tough times in their earlier life.
The young people will live with the host family for anything between a few nights and two years; it depends on the needs of the individual and the host family.
For full details on this service visit the Heart and Home page.
We introduced this service in 2012 in partnership with Norfolk County Council.
The Hub is semi-independent supported accommodation for up to six young people (predominantly 16 and 17 year olds) assessed as having high and specialist needs. The overall aim of the service is to provide safe and suitable accommodation and support for young people leaving care in Norfolk and to prepare them for independence.