Eradicating Negative Language

Tuesday, 1st July, 2008
I see Leicester YMCA as a proactive organisation that challenges the norm and leads on change. As part of this process we have made a commitment to eradicate the words 'hostel' and 'eviction'.

Communicating the Vision
Traditionally, supported housing has been referred to as "hostels". This term has been used negatively and will often create barriers for young people when applying for jobs, registering with a GP or accessing legal documents. As such, our vision is to upgrade our accommodation so that people want to live here regardless of their circumstances. To reflect this we have replaced the word "hostel" with "supported accommodation".

Most young people who are asked to leave Leicester YMCA will have been through a process of warnings and support, and will be assisted to find new accommodation, no matter what the circumstances. Therefore we would prefer to use the term "move-on" to reflect the fact that we work extremely hard to prevent a young person being put out on the street, which is what the term "eviction" implies. We are now using these three terms:

Emergency move-on
Moving a resident on because of inappropriate behaviour or high level of risk

Planned move-on
A move to other supported accommodation more appropriate to their needs or when suitable notice is given because of non payment of rent or inappropriate behaviour

Positive move-on
Where a young person leaves because they have secured a new tenancy and are ready for independent or semi independent living, or moving back to family home

Move-On Bag
Leicester YMCA have made a commitment that no young person moving out of our accommodation for whatever reason should have their possessions packed in black bin liners. It is our view that bin liners represent rubbish and young people's possessions are not rubbish. As such we are in the process of purchasing a number of 'move on' bags that will be distributed to all young people moving out of our accommodation. This bag will include useful information on where to get further help and support and will be available to all residents as of 1st August 2008.

Paul Brown
Chief Executive

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