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Going Up Stream Conference The National Glass Centre Sunderland 31 st January 2014. Introduction & Welcome. Rick Henderson Chief Executive, Homeless Link.
Going Up Stream Conference The National Glass Centre Sunderland 31st January 2014
Introduction & Welcome Rick Henderson Chief Executive, Homeless Link
‘There comes a point where you need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.’Desmond Tutu
Aims: To review of YHNE work during 2013 To present our vision and priorities for the 2014 To hear from young people To discuss, share and plan Morning: 2013 and the future Reviewing the Regional Housing Strategy Afternoon: 2014: Our priorities Q&A Revisiting Positive Pathways Going Up Stream
Youth Homelessness 2013 and the future Seyi Obakin, Chief Executive, Centrepoint
Youth Homelessness 2013 and the future Presented by Seyi ObakinChief Executive, Centrepoint
Context • At Q1 2013, UK National Debt was £1,377bn (£1.3 trn) • The national debt grows each year because we run deficit budgets and the deficit adds to national debt. • For example, for the year 2009-10, total government revenue was £496bn but the government spent £671bn, adding roughly £175bn to the national debt at that time. • The coalition government has been trying to reduce the annual budget deficit so that the government can stop increasing the national debt. • Deficit reduction means less money for everyone, including local councils!
Context • For many years, housing stock has been has been stagnant at best and reducing in some places, including here in the North East, because of empty properties. We have not built enough. • Report by Cambridge University for Centrepoint shows current shortfall of 140,344 units for households headed by young people, rising to 146,696 by 2021. • Today, 15,670 more units of supported accommodation is needed to meet the needs of young people. • Here in the North East, 50,598 additional units would be required by 2021 to meet overall demand for housing. For England as a whole, we will need 934,000 units. • Currently, we are building roughly 120,000 new units annually. We need to up the game.
Context • UK unemployment has been very high since the recession, which coincided with deficit reduction programme, started. • Youth unemployment stuck around at around 1m young people for a considerable time now. Current figure 941k, 40% of total unemployment. • Youth unemployment is even more acute among disadvantaged groups. • Problem precedes recession or deficit reduction. Some of it is structural and for various reasons
Context Welfare reform has been a big part of deficit reduction. More cuts are likely to come.
Be encouraged • This network is an important part of the solution: • A joined up approach. Integrating the various needs of young people. • Action plan and produce annual surveys of youth homelessness. • Youth Housing Charter already adopted by 5 local authorities and working with all 12 local authorities. • Founder member of the NEHTT • Lots of positive work already taking place – mediation work, bringing empty homes back in to use, working with employers, etc. • Well done. We cannot just wring our hands and give up! • But more is needed.
End Youth Homelessness Alliance • A broad based alliance of governments, charities and business with the same aim – to end youth homelessness. • Launched last May at the House of Commons, advisory group includes Centrepoint, DePaul Trust, St Basils, Homeless Link, Relate, Family Lives, The Prince’s Trust, National Grid, Taylor Wimpey, HSBC, BiTC and Royal College of GPs. • Has cross-party support from all three major parties • Has produced 7 key asks of government, people and business • Key asks adopted in full by Birmingham City Council last November. • Support from YHNE and North East local authorities very important. • Support the cause, sign the pledge at www.eyh.org.uk
Youth Homeless North East 2013 Sharon Brown Regional Manager
What we’ve achieved.. Survey of Youth Homelessness 2013 • Used by local authorities and wider partners to inform local strategies and funding bids The Youth Housing Charter • Publicity material produced with young people • Local presentations across the region • Adopted by 5 local authorities Regional Youth Housing Strategy • Used by local authorities and wider partners to inform local strategies and funding bids Events • More than a Home with NHF, NHC and Homeless Link • Youth Homelessness in the NE, NEHTT seminar
Involving young people Regional Champions: • Community Campus – Tees Valley • Youth Voice, Your Homes Newcastle – Tyne & Wear • Youth Educators, Centrepoint – Durham • Northumberland Partnership (Barnardo’s, Barnabas Safe & Sound and Berwick Youth project) Events: • Listening to young people • Home and a Job Projects • Positive Images • Home and a Job
Youth Housing Charter: Andrew Burnip: Housing Solutions: Core Team Manager: January 2014:
Background: • Joseph Rowntree Foundation ‘A young people’s charter on housing’ 2012. • Working Group: Housing Solutions: Moving On, Youth Independence Forum: Barnardo’s. • 59 young people participated. • All had experienced homelessness. • 4 where in custody
Developing The Charter: • Young people were involved in devising the research questions: • YHNE Regional Champions: Moving on, Youth Independence Forum, Barnardo’s, Community Campus and Trinity Youth delivered focus groups.
What did young people say? Home: you should feel loved Home: Means nothing to me. Home: Dad was violent – arguments all the time with Mum: I was kicked out at 16. Emergency Accommodation: I got a place in a hostel and got bullied into taking drugs. I got so low I thought about selling myself for sex, and you can see why this happens, you just kind of take that next low step Council Houses: in areas you don’t want to go & they often don’t help people they don’t want. I would have to work 6 days a week just to cover rent and have a few quid in left in my pocket! .
What did young people say? As a kid my life was dominated by domestic violence. I just couldn’t take it anymore, I just couldn’t protect mam. I ended up homeless at 16 year old and was put in emergency accommodation. I was working – an apprenticeship on £120 a week, but I had to pay £95 per week to live there. Other young people like me – stood outside drug dealing – they weren’t paying anything – on benefits – they made their money from drugs. I was working five days a week but couldn’t afford to pay £95 a week as I had only £25 left for transport to and from work and my food and clothes. I was moved on to another hostel and was there for six months. I still had to pay £95 there. It was £300 arrears when I left there – it was just too hard to keep up the payments. I tried to get a pay rise but couldn’t – I was stuck. I felt so stupid to be working. Other said ‘look I don’t work and I get this money and just sit and smoke dope all day’. I thought hold on I’m paying taxes so they can live like that.
Young People told us they want: A safe area, a secure property, a peaceful environment To live close to family and or friends Be part of and engaged in the local community.
Pledges: Prevention We will provide education about the realities of homelessness in schools and for families and carers. We will provide mediation services as early as possible to resolve problems so that young people can remain at home when appropriate and to enable sustainable positive relationships with family, carers and friends when they have to move out. We will ensure young people receive adequate preparation for independent living and plan with them for successful transitions. We will implement thorough needs assessment processes and listen to young people to make sure they get the right support and the right housing. Housing We will ensure that all housing offered to young people is secure with adequate staffing, security, locks on doors and a land phone-line for emergencies. We will help young people to secure permanent accommodation they can call their own rather than moving between temporary accommodation. We will respect young peoples’ right to have friends staying over within the context of balancing rights with responsibilities. .
Pledges: The area We will try to provide housing to young people in an area they know, where they are aware of available facilities and services, where to go for help, what the transport links are and close to training and employment. We will ensure young people move to an area where they will feel safe and welcomed taking into account individual needs such as sexuality. When young people want it, we will offer them housing in an area close to family, carers, friends and other support networks. Managing finances We want to see housing benefit continue to be available for those aged under 25 years old.
Pledges: Support • We are committed to ensuring young people who have been in-care receive the support they want from Children’s Services and are able to maintain contact with foster carers after leaving the care system. • We recognise that times of ‘transition’, including moving between accommodation, are difficult for young people so at these times we will provide additional support. • For young people who would like longer term support and when things start to go wrong, we will provide extra support including moving young people into supported housing for a while to help them resolve their problems and avoid eviction. • We know that young people prefer to have the same worker and not have to retell their stories and build new relationships all the time. Where possible we will try to ensure young people have the same worker. • We are committed to ensuring we have workers who are suitably qualified and who know about homelessness and understand the issues young people face.
Youth Homelessness in the North East Survey Findings 2013 Adele Irving, Research Fellow, Northumbria University
Research Aims & Objectives • Establish the regional picture of youth homelessness and identify changes over time. • Assess this against the national picture. • Track LT trends, inform policy and practice. • The Extent and Causes of Youth Homelessness • Prevention Efforts • Support Needs • Accommodation and Support Services • Welfare Reform
Methodology • Two online surveys • Local authorities (LAs) • Service providers (SPs) • Single homeless people, aged 16-24 • February 2013 / Previous 12 months • Response rate: • 34 from all 12 LAs • 29 from 21 SPs
The Extent of Youth Homelessness • Between 467-753 young people presented to 12 LAs as homeless/sought advice in Feb 2013. • 533 cases to 10 LAs in Feb 2012. • Respondent perceptions mixed. • Approx. 800 young people were supported by 23 SPs in February 2013. • 870 to 19 SPs in Feb 2012. • Respondent perceptions mixed. • Reflects national trends.
Age Distribution of Young Clients • Of 977 cases in Feb 2013, 26% aged 16-17, 31% aged 18-19, 21% aged 20-21, 22% aged 22-24. • The majority of LA clients were aged 2o+. 62% were aged 20-24. • The majority of SP clients were aged <20. 68% were aged 16-19. • Reflects YHNE (2012) findings. • Increases over 12 month period most likely to be reported among 16-17 and 20-21s. • Increase among 16-17 year olds nationally.
Preventing Youth Homelessness (LAs) • 71% (8 of 11) have mediation service. • 89% (8 of 9) work in partnership with local ‘Troubled Families’ programme. • 80% (8 of 10) undertake homelessness prevention education work in schools or other. • 70% (7 of 10) reported that Children’s Services and Housing departments work together to prevent homelessness. • 93% ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’. • No LAs reported joint-working to be very effective in 2012. • Effective approaches: Proactive planning for care leavers; family mediation services; priority social housing status.
Experiences of Young Clients • 68 SP clients slept rough in Feb 13. • Regional Avg: 1 in 12 • National Avg: 1 in 10. • 60% (6 of 10) SPs felt this represented an increase. • 77 SP clients are care leavers (9% of total client base). • National Avg: 14.5%.
Support Services • 70% (7 of 10) LAs have maintained or increased provision. • 76% (13 of 17) of SPs had maintained or increased provision. • 47% of SPs unable to assist some young people due to capacity. • Just one third in NE in 2012. • 55% nationally. • Half (9 of 18) reported youth service closures. • 27% in NE in 2012. • 54% nationally in 2013.
Accommodation Options • Good availability of and limited changes to emergency and longer stay temporary accommodation over time. • Less B&B usage in NE (17%) than nationally (39%). • SPs reported less positive picture of move on provision over time. • 38% ( 5 of 13) decreases. • LAs developed accommodation options: • 10 bond/deposit scheme. • 9 work with private landlords. • 6 social lettings agency. • 5 developing shared accommodation options.
Welfare Reform 57% (4 of 7) SPs and 78% (7 of 9) LAs reported some young clients affected by extension of SAR. 50% (3 of 6) SPs and 75% (6 of 8) LAs reported some young clients affected by capping of Housing Benefit. Concerns over access to PRS, young people sharing accommodation, benefit sanctions, claim delays, poverty.
Recommendations • Maintenance and expansion of appropriate housing options for young people. • Greater focus on employment support schemes for young people. • Consideration of the value of floating support. • Specialist support for young people with complex needs / an offending history.
Positive Images Youth Educators & Kieran Platts
Aims • Working alongside the Regional Youth Work Unit, the aim is to create a media based platform to challenge negative stereotypes of youth homeless from both with the public and professional organisations. • Show the skill set of the young people involved • To then publicise the issues raised and • spread awareness.
Outcomes • The young people involved will gain experience and new skills in media and filming. Spread awareness and try to lessen negative stereotypes of the youth homeless from both the public and professional bodies. • There is a need to involve young people from across the region . Working with our Regional Champions each sub region will produce a short film sequence which will be then be amalgamated and edited into one short film representing the region
Leaving Home Scene Camera pans following young person down the street
Survival Crime Scene A car is in the foreground with young person in the background, walking up to vehicle the young person insinuates a break in. Screen goes to black out