Professional Zone

Outreach - Supporting Homeless Young People

Nina* was 21, homeless, and extremely vulnerable when she came into contact with Coram Voice’s Outreach project at a London youth homeless centre. Children's Services support had stopped when age 17 she had run away from her placement when bullying left her feeling scared & unsafe there. Since then she had been 'sofa surfing' which in reality meant she was staying in crack dens and with men she had just met in order to have somewhere to sleep for the night.

Nina’s story is not unique - it is estimated that around a third** of homeless people have been in care at some point. Many young people like her find themselves with nowhere to live, struggling to engage with Children's Services and being denied accommodation despite presenting themselves to the relevant services as homeless before the age of 18.

Through our advocacy intervention, Nina was acknowledged by Children's Services as having been entitled to care leaver status and was swiftly provided with suitable accommodation. Her advocate also supported her to submit a complaint about the lack of prior support, and to feel enabled to access all other services and support to which she was entitled.

The Outreach project, which is unique to Coram Voice, enables us to remove the barriers homeless young people often face when seeking help. We go to them, and offer;

  • information about their rights and entitlements
  • one-to-one sessions
  • follow-up intensive advocacy support

Through this work we help these at risk young people move off the streets and into safe housing. In addition, by continuing to support them beyond this process, we can help them to re-engage with the system and to access the financial, housing and educational benefits to which they are entitled.

To find out more about Outreach, please call 020 7833 5792.

To support our valuable Outreach work with homeless young people, please click here.

 

*names and identities have been changed to protect the child’s privacy

** Crisis (2012) ‘Research briefing: Young, hidden & homeless’