Roundabout joins Royal initiative to tackle youth homelessness
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Homewards aims to bring together individual experts, sector partners and local expertise to find innovative solutions and to demonstrate that together it is possible to end homelessness.
It will be operating in six key locations across the UK, including South Yorkshire, where youth homelessness charity Roundabout has been operating since 1977.
The aim of the scheme is to create and deliver a tailored plan to prevent homelessness across the county, based on local needs and local expertise.
In the past year alone, statistics show that 129,000 16 to 25-year-olds across the UK went to their local council for help because they were facing or already experiencing homelessness.
That’s an approximate 353 vulnerable young people every day or one every four minutes - an enormous group, left exposed to the harmful effects of homelessness.
Roundabout currently supports well over 350 young people aged 16 to 25 every day, providing emergency accommodation in the charity’s hostel for those most at risk, supporting young people in residential projects in Sheffield and Rotherham and providing key services delivering comprehensive programmes of training, involvement and empowerment which help to prepare young people for independent living.
The charity’s Homeless Prevention Service, based in Sheffield city centre, offers support to young people who are homeless, or who are at risk of becoming homeless, listening and giving advice about available housing options, from planned moves to emergency accommodation.
“Very much at the heart of everything we do is a determination to provide the sort of support that prevents young people becoming homeless at all,” said Roundabout chief executive Ben Keegan.
“Our hostel is there for those young people at the moment of greatest crisis but more than 40 years of working with young people has shown quite clearly that prevention is always better than cure and we are extremely proud of the level of service we provide that helps resolve issues before they become a full blown crisis.
“We know, of course, that there are many young people who are still falling through the net, those hidden homeless who are sofa surfing with family and friends and are perhaps only a few nights away from life on the streets.
“Having the dedicated support of the Prince of Wales, we hope that this new movement can only strengthen the level of service offered to young people and mean we can reach out to even more who need us the most.”