New housing support for homeless young people set to launch in Southampton this summer

4th February 2022

We’re really pleased that our youth-led project, Help Us Move On, has worked with local decision makers to introduce a new housing scheme for homeless people in the city.

The new scheme, which is set to launch this July, aims to house 20 homeless adults and young people with complex needs in the first year as part of the Housing First Model. The approach, which was first developed in New York in the early 1990s, enables homeless people to access immediate housing along with an intense, holistic support package to help them make positive changes in their life.

The Housing First Model has already been a success in Haringey, London and West Lothian, Scotland, where over 30 homeless young people have been supported into housing in the last two years.

Help Us Move On, a project first set up in 2019, is led by a team of Youth Advocates who campaign for better housing and employment opportunities for young people in Southampton. Help Us Move On were invited by the local authority to be part of a recent review of young people’s housing in the city. They were able to collect and represent the views of young people and advocate for services that meet their needs.

Michael, a Youth Advocate for Help Us Move On, said “As a young person who has experienced living in hostels and moving about in the last five years, I wanted to use my experience with a bit of research and knowledge of the system to make changes and influence the council to involve young people in making key decisions that will affect them in the long term. I feel so proud of the impact we’ve had in campaigning for change and having the opportunity to shape the future of young people’s housing in our city.”

Councillor Spiros Vassiliou, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Heritage, Southampton City Council, said: “Everyone has a right to a safe and secure home and to live a happy and healthy life. Homelessness affects all age groups in Southampton, but it’s especially important that our young people are supported with early intervention packages, like the Housing First scheme, to help them access long-term housing and address their often-complex needs. I very much hope this newly commissioned service will enable many vulnerable young people in our city to rebuild their lives and enjoy positive futures.”

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