Unique outreach advocacy service for homeless young people to expand
A one-of-a-kind Coram Voice initiative supporting homeless young people is to be extended across London.
Last year, Coram Voice's Outreach project supported 88 young people to be removed from homelessness and into safe accommodation. Often the young people had been wrongly denied their care leaver status by children’s services, so preventing them from accessing support to which they were entitled.
A further 99 homeless young people received information and advice about their rights and entitlements from a trained advocate.
Based on the fact that around a third of homeless people have been in care, an outreach advocacy pilot programme was launched by Coram Voice with the New Horizon Youth Centre in London in 2012.
The project supports children in care and care leavers, but also a large number of young people who were homeless before the age of 18 and presented to Children's Services, but were not accommodated. The support is given through one-to-one sessions, information giving and follow up intensive advocacy support.
Coram Voice is not aware of any other project like this, and has experienced an 86% increase in 'crisis' calls related to housing to its helpline since the pilot started in September 2012.
The need for the project is clear, and recently secured additional funding will see the project continue and extend to at least one new homeless centre in the capital over the coming months.