Naturally, people assume that young people will be looked after until they can manage on their own. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Whilst support is available suitable housing may not be.
Life can throw many an unexpected curve ball at you at any time of your life, but to deal with such situations or events when you are young can often feel completely overwhelming and a little bit scary. There isn’t only one reason for young people to find themselves without accommodation, and the reality of it is that we have no collective idea of just how many young people are at risk of homelessness or sofa surfing. The term is coined as ‘hidden homelessness’.
Even in 2022 there is still a stigma around declaring yourself as homeless. The connotations of the word ‘homeless’ invokes some very powerful feelings for people and the language used by society is still very derogatory. Something we at the brick are trying to change. There should never be any judgement or shame attached to seeking support for anything in life. The brick is here in a non-judgemental way to support people to rebuild their lives and we will continue to fight to break system barriers and champion change for the good of everyone; an inclusive society. In my experience, young people especially are uncomfortable with this label, and more often than not the very stigma prevents the majority of young people reporting their homelessness status. Which is why I stated earlier we truly have no idea of the extend of young homeless people in the borough.
Here at the Young Persons Accommodation we provide a bed, three meals a day and most importantly a non-judgemental, safe environment for people to access the right support network within the community. We encourage individuals to make meaningful use of their time during the day; not only does this build self-esteem but also builds on those vital life skills that are needed to ensure a sustainable tenancy when they move on from here. We adopt a person led approach which put the individual in control of their support and what they consider to be meaningful to them. This can vary massively depending on any number of factors and can include but not limited to college, paid work, voluntary work, apprenticeships or concentrating on basic skills such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting.
As mentioned above, this can be a massively overwhelming experience and people don’t always know how or where to get support from. We don’t want anyone to ever feel that they are on their own with no support. Signposting is also an important part of what we do. Having an awareness of when to refer and to which service is of utmost importance. A little compassion, understanding and listening can go a long way.
Taking that first step can fill you with anxiety, fear of the unknown or make you feel vulnerable, I feel the below quote sums this up for me. Take the step, be brave and make a positive change.
“What if I fall? Oh but my Darling what if you fly? Erin Hanson
A Blog by Jayne Robinson Young Person’s Accommodation Team Lead[/vc_column][/vc_row]