Young care leavers get housing help

Rocktrust freeusepic

​Care leavers often face a life of temporary accommodation and homelessness 

28th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Youth homelessness is being tackled through an innovative project in West Lothian.

The Rock Trust has launched a two year pilot, called Housing First, delivered in partnership with Almond Housing Association, placing vulnerable young care leavers into permanent housing, rather than having them rely on temporary accommodation.

Based in west Lothian, the project is the first of its kind in the UK.

The approach differs from traditional routes to permanent housing as individuals are not passed through stages of temporary accommodation prior to being placed in their own home.

Almond Housing Association has provided five permanent fully furnished homes which will be offered to young people on an immediate, permanent basis.

The Rock Trust team will provide high level support to each young resident, meeting their individual needs across education, employment, health and wellbeing.

Allison Calder, Rock Trust head of services said: “Many young people leaving care are being let down by the current temporary accommodation models. The use of unsuitable temporary accommodation in Scotland is spiralling – the Housing First model challenges this approach through provision of permanent accommodation with high levels of support from the very start.

“Our team will take a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality when supporting these young people to maintain their tenancies. We are dedicated to eradicating youth homelessness in Scotland, and it’s with great pride that we are embarking on this youth-specific approach.”

The model has already proven its ability and effectiveness in targeting chronic homelessness in over 100 projects across the world in the US, the UK, and Denmark.  

Almond’s chief executive George Webster said: “For a young person leaving care, entering yet another temporary accommodation arrangement can present a traumatic and uncertain set of circumstances which contribute to a reduced quality of life. The Rock Trust project will provide a stable living environment which supports these young people as they begin to build their independence.”