Sheffield young homeless charity to mark 20 years of helping people

Sheffield Foyer resident Josh invites a neighbour to the charity's 20th anniversary celebration.
Sheffield Foyer resident Josh invites a neighbour to the charity's 20th anniversary celebration.
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A Sheffield charity that has helped hundreds of the city's vulnerable young people is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.

Sheffield Foyer was set up two decades ago to provide shelter and support for those aged 16 to 25 who find themselves without a roof over their head.

Jacira Monteiro, who lived at Sheffield Foyer in 2014, will be a guest at the party.

Jacira Monteiro, who lived at Sheffield Foyer in 2014, will be a guest at the party.

The charity takes people into its hostel in Spring Lane, Arbourthorne, for up to 12 months. While there, residents get the support they need to prepare them for living an independent life.

Each year Foyer works with about 120 young people, meaning more than 2,000 have been helped since it was first set up.

And this Thursday the charity will welcome former residents and guests to a party to celebrate its 20th year.

Senior project worker Karen Shimwell said Foyer offered a 'complete package of support' to those who come through its door.

"They get a lead support worker, we look at health needs, training and employment, and basic life skills," she said.

"They have a specific programme that we design ourselves. It helps with life skills and living in their own home.

"It's not as simple as just paying the bills - it's about resilience and confidence."

The aim is to get people to a point where they can live on their own. But once the 12 months are up, Foyer does not abandon those it works with.

"We don't move people on unless they are ready," said Karen.

"Some people do flounder - and we are there to support them. We don't put them into a property without support."

The reasons for homelessness are complex, but have not changed too much over the past 20 years.

"When we started we had young people that were being made homeless because of problems with family life," said Karen.

"Today we have more different races and LGBT people. Sadly that's still a reason people fall out."

But Foyer is there to help anyone from any background turn their life around.

The charity has put out an open invitation for its party, which will take place at the hostel in Spring Lane on Thursday.

Sheffield's Lord Mayor will be there along with former residents from the charity's 20 years.