New Coventry hub aims to prevent youth homelessness - The Coventry Observer

New Coventry hub aims to prevent youth homelessness

Coventry Editorial 15th Mar, 2024   0

COVENTRY has united to open a youth hub of help to prevent youngsters from ‘losing themselves’ and slipping into homelessness after startling statistics revealed the plight of young people across the city.

The hub at Harp Place on Sandy Lane opened on Tuesday and will look to help any struggling young person in the area.

It will offer them a safe space to get support and advice on housing, benefits, education and training.

Recent statistics revealed between April 2022 and March 2023, 1,945 young people facing the risk of homelessness reached out to Coventry City Council for help – a shocking 17 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

New research from Centrepoint revealed 13,700 young people faced homelessness in the West Midlands over the same period.

The hub was the brainchild of Coventry Building Society (CBS), which approached its charity partner, Centrepoint, about the project.

Fellow charity St Basil’s soon joined the project, and the CBS committed £250,000 a year towards running the Youth Hub.

Coventry Building Society also convinced local suppliers to renovate the youth hub for free.

Kip, a young person who benefited from St Basil’s, said: “Before I was safely housed and supported by St Basil’s, I had to retell my story to so many different people and organisations, which is beyond exhausting and upsetting.

“This youth hub is going to be so useful to young people who need support at a crucial time in their lives.”

CBS’ social impact lead, Anna Cuskin told the Observer: “Normally, young people will have to approach five or six different organisations and eventually feel disheartened and give up- here, young people will only have to tell their story once.

“Often with a few interventions, a young person’s seemingly bleak future can look very different.”

Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin added: “Over the past few decades, we’ve seen opportunities for help almost disappear- where do young people go these days?

“Youth homelessness happens for several reasons, and when young people have nowhere to go they go into a downward spiral which is the most devastating thing.

“A hub like this intervenes just at the start of the spiral, it means that no young person will ever have to lose themselves.”

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