Education key to preventing youth homelessness
Wednesday, 2nd July, 2008Homeless services need to work more closely with education to prevent youth homelessness; this is one of the conclusions of a conference held in Leicester on Tuesday 1st July. Right Here Right Now showcased many excellent services from across the East Midlands and highlighted good partnerships across voluntary and statutory services including housing, health and youth offending.
Key Speaker Shaun Pollard shared the success of early intervention strategies in secondary schools in Derbyshire run by NCH The Children's Charity. Training delivered by former homeless young people has demonstrated better outcomes in hot spot areas of youth homelessness. Practitioners would like to see Leicester develop a similar service.
Young people were invited to be part of the conference, which included a poignant film about their experiences. Two young people from Connexions Leicester Shire shared their peer research findings for improving housing services for young people. These recommendations, along with other key issues raised during the day will feed directly into Leicester's forthcoming Strategic Plan on Youth Homelessness.
Paul Brown, chief executive of Leicester YMCA said "The conference created a sense of shared purpose and determination to work together to eradicate youth homelessness in our communities.
Leicester YMCA asked other organisations to make a commitment to eradicate the words 'hostel' and 'eviction' which have negative connotations. We will be replacing them with "supported accommodation" and "emergency move-on", to reflect the level of support and the environment that we provide for young people. Organisations work together to find the most appropriate place for a young person to live and give that person as much support as they can, even if their behaviour means they are asked to move on."
The conference was jointly delivered by Leicester City Council and Leicester YMCA and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG).
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