1. How did Herts Young Homeless come in to being? What encouraged you to become a Member of Pro-Action?
After seeing a lack of support services for young people experiencing housing difficulty in the county, Joe Isaac wanted to find a way to help meet that need. In 1998, she set up Herts Young Homeless group with funding from the Crouchfield Trust charity. Since then, HYH has helped thousands of vulnerable people back to stability. Being a member of Pro Action helped us provide trainings for our Live Life members & find suitable funding opportunities to be able to run the project.
2. What are the main reasons young people in Hertfordshire become homeless? What kind of challenges do they face?
A cause of homelessness that we are seeing more and more often among young people is family breakdown. Things might not be going well at home, tensions rise between family members and this can build to a point where a young person leaves or is asked to leave the family home.
The young people we work with come up against a variety of challenges that come with homelessness. They might be struggling with their mental health alongside trying to juggle education, work and their unstable housing situation. It can definitely be difficult to navigate alone but we are proud to offer support that goes above and beyond to equip young people with the information, skills and confidence to get back on their feet.
3. How do your services support young people who are homeless or are being threatened with homelessness?
Our services support young vulnerable people through a number of ways including advice, support, mediation and education. Our Floating Support team in particular work with young people who are from especially vulnerable groups. They may be care leavers, those leaving supported accommodation or at risk of eviction from temporary and permanent accommodation. Sometimes they may even have the added responsibility of being a young parent. Our Floating Support team offer practical support to these people who may need help setting up bill payments, budgeting their money, building independent living skills, finding access to education or training, and generally sustaining their tenancies.
4. How has working with Pro-Action helped HYH raise awareness about the issues facing young homeless people?
Pro-Action has supported the training of our staff and volunteers and provided us with information about funding opportunities relevant to our frontline services.
5. What does the future hold for HYH?
When looking towards the future and working in a constantly changing environment hyh will continue to adapt and innovate, demonstrating resilience in the face of uncertainty. Challenges associated with funding and legislative changes relating to housing, social care and welfare have meant the organisation has often had to think ‘outside the box’, seeking solutions through collaborative working or working differently, whilst maintaining the provision of high quality services.
- To increase the availability of services in our three priority areas of prevention/early intervention, crisis intervention, and independent living support;
- To ensure resilience and sustainability of the organisation, in particular by increasing the proportion of unrestricted funding, and by investing in our core infrastructure and staff skill base;
- To provide an informed and authoritative voice in the sector, in order to constructively influence decision makers, particularly around the difficulties affecting our service users
As Hertfordshire Children’s Services Charity Partner of the Year hyh will continue to provide high quality service provision, including services that support the health and wellbeing needs of our service users. We recognise the value of collaborative partnerships across statutory and voluntary sectors.