Home­less project short­listed

West Lothian Courier - - News - Sean O’Neil

A pi­o­neer­ing West Loth­ian project to tackle youth home­less­ness has been short­listed for a £50,000 grant.

The Rock Trust, in part­ner­ship with Al­mond Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, has been short­listed for a com­mu­nity grant of up to £50,000 from the Na­tion­wide Build­ing So­ci­ety.

The part­ner­ship is de­liv­er­ing the UK’s first Hous­ing First for Youth project, pro­vid­ing hous­ing so­lu­tions for care leavers with in­di­ca­tors of com­plex needs.

Through the pi­o­neer­ing project, five ten­an­cies were of­fered to young peo­ple in West Loth­ian, with sup­port based around their in­di­vid­ual needs in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, health and well­be­ing.

Rock Trust CEO Kate Pol­son said:“We are de­lighted to have been short­listed for a Com­mu­nity Grant from Na­tion­wide.

“Hous­ing First has been recog­nised as a vi­tal ap­proach for sup­port­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our so­ci­ety to move on from home­less­ness for good. This grant would en­able us to help more young peo­ple ac­cess this life-chang­ing pack­age of sup­port.”

Al­mond CEO Ge­orge Web­ster said:“This short­list­ing is great news for all con­cerned in the project. We have worked hard with our part­ners to get this project up and run­ning, and ad­di­tional re­sourc­ing can only mean that we will be able to help more young peo­ple who have had a pretty tough start.

“Al­mond is de­lighted to hear that the project has been recog­nised as be­ing wor­thy of short­list­ing – and hope­fully suc­ceed­ing too.”

A spokesper­son for the part­ner­ship said: “Many young peo­ple leav­ing care will have ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant trauma and in­sta­bil­ity in their early lives – and are un­able to do what is re­quired to be al­lowed per­ma­nent hous­ing un­der the cur­rent model. This route re­lies on an in­di­vid­ual be­ing able to prove readi­ness at each stage, to move to the next.

“Hous­ing First works on the be­lief that hous­ing is a ba­sic hu­man right. The Hous­ing First for Youth model ex­tends that right to young peo­ple, and ac­knowl­edges they have spe­cific needs re­lated to their age. It is hoped the pi­lot scheme will build ev­i­dence needed to ex­pand the ser­vice to more young peo­ple and en­cour­age the hous­ing sec­tor to fol­low this model.”

Mem­bers of the Na­tion­wide Build­ing So­ci­ety can cast a vote for the project at www.na­tion­wide.co.uk and the clos­ing date is July 20.

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