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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Life-changing housing project will lift more young people out of homelessness

This news post is over 1 year old

The Housing First for Youth model provides stability and wrap-around support

Scottish youth homelessness charity Rock Trust is expanding its Housing First for Youth project thanks to additional funding from Fife Council.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, in 2021 the charity and the local authority established the project for some of Fife’s most vulnerable.

Currently the project is supporting 20 young people who are at risk of or affected by homelessness.

Alistair MacDermid, assistant director at Rock Trust, said: “Our dedicated team has already assisted 16 young people into a permanent tenancy and provided them with the support to thrive within it. The model’s unique approach of combining unconditional access to permanent accommodation alongside high-intensity, choice-based support, has already been hugely successful supporting these young people to keep their homes and build skills for life.

“We’re very grateful to Fife Council for recognising the need for this type of support, and the impact it is having. In extending the project we can now help 35 young people in Fife.”

Housing First works on the belief that housing is a basic human right. Rock Trust were the first organisation in the UK to adapt the internationally successful model for young people, creating the first Housing First for Youth programme in West Lothian in 2017.

The programme has been developed to help at risk young people with multiple and complex needs, including those struggling with their mental health. Many of them will have already experienced significant trauma, instability, multiple moves and a lack of security throughout their early life.

The Housing First for Youth model provides stability and wrap-around support to help them move forward and make positive, permanent changes in their lives. The young people involved are supported to access a permanent settled home as quickly as possible, helping them to avoid staying in unsuitable temporary accommodation that could be unsafe and in some cases re-traumatising.

Jamie was 16, homeless and sofa surfing when he was referred to the Rock Trust Housing First for Youth project.

He said: “What I have known most in my life is trauma and abuse. My parents both took drugs and I have been in trouble with the police. Before Rock Trust I had stayed in a few supported accommodation places but it was hard to accept help and follow rules and I was asked to leave. With the team at Rock Trust it’s been different. They helped me find a flat in the area I wanted to stay in. My worker has helped me with paperwork, understanding bills and I now feel safe, settled and part of a community.”

For more information on Rock Trust’s housing services in Fife, email or call 0345 222 1425.