New service to prevent teen homelessness in Sheffield

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A new homeless prevention service designed to keep young people in Sheffield off the streets has been launched.

City charity Roundabout is launching the new initiative to try to tackle the problem of homelessness in people aged between 16 and 21.

The organisation runs the city’s only emergency hostel and provides support to 150 homeless young people per day.

Huge demand for hostel places has led the charity to launch the new service to help stop leaving their family homes in the first place.

The new service will start from next Monday, June 16, and open on weekdays between 1pm and 4pm. It will be based on Union Street in the city centre and offer advice and support to young people who are close to becoming homeless due to the breakdown of family relationships.

Last year, 74 per cent of the young people who stayed at Roundabout’s emergency hostel said their reason for homelessness was because of a relationship breakdown with parents.

The new service aims to help the young people return to their family when it is appropriate and safe to do so. If it proves impossible to resolve conflict, youngsters will be offered help and advice on housing options.

It is hoped the project will eventually help prevent at least one in three of the young people Roundabout works with from becoming homeless.

Roundabout chief executive officer Ben Keegan said staying at home gives youngsters, especially those aged 16 and 17, a better chance of educational success.

“We have a commitment to try to end homelessness for young people in Sheffield and this new service will be an essential new addition to our services,” he said.

“We will do our upmost to help young people stay with their families but for those that aren’t able to return home we help them find alternative accommodation that will keep them safe and supported.

“The benefits of staying in the family home are huge.”