Tackling youth homelessness

Collaboration is key to reducing the number of young people without a safe home


Image: New Horizon Youth Centre

Image: New Horizon Youth Centre

New Horizon

Youth Centre

Youth homelessness is at an all-time high, with jobs, education and living situations for under-25s hit hardest by the pandemic. We need to act quickly to meet current demand as well as working to actually solving the complex issue of youth homelessness, rather than just reacting to the consequences.

In order to do this we need evidence-based prevention services, a range of youth-specific housing options and long-term investment in homelessness services. We at New Horizon Youth Centre, together with our London Youth Gateway partners, believe this can only be delivered through collaboration.

The Together Alliance

Enter the Together Alliance, a ground-breaking partnership of housing associations and youth homelessness charities that is committed to pooling resources and best practice to improve outcomes for under-25s. The Alliance was initiated by the Housing Association Youth Network and New Horizon Youth Centre in 2018 in response to the concerning rise of young people without a safe home.

In November last year, the Together Alliance released a report detailing three evidence-based, effective solutions for young people facing or at risk of homelessness. This was based on research conducted by Campbell Tickell on behalf of the partnership, and informed by decades of sector experience. The report’s recommendations can be implemented by housing associations and charities nationwide within current and shared resources. The three key solutions are:

  1. Someone to talk to: Preventing young people who are housing association tenants from becoming homeless by having processes and/or people within housing associations that can support young people’s tenancy sustainment.
  2. Some support to pay: A flexible funding pot of money that can be distributed directly and swiftly by charities to assist with immediate needs and unexpected costs of young people experiencing homelessness.
  3. Somewhere to stay: Providing young people with a good next step once they leave emergency accommodation by making underused housing stock available.

These tried and tested methods could massively transform the lives of young people with complex needs, giving them safe, appropriate housing options during vulnerable periods of their lives. The report details examples of how these suggestions have been successfully implemented in the past and the Together Alliance is delighted to welcome new partners who could test the learnings in their context.

Watch this short film by young people who attend the New Horizon Youth Centre in Euston, London, which looks at their experiences of homelessness.

Call for collaboration

This kind of collaboration and innovation has never been more needed: statistics show youth homelessness, especially rough sleeping, is consistently rising. With the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people, from the loss of jobs and education, to family tensions or escalating health issues, we know these numbers will continue to grow.

The projects proposed by the Together Alliance are tangible alternatives to the desperate situations young people experience, and which both housing associations and youth homelessness organisations try to address on a daily basis.

If you are interested in our findings and share the Alliance’s mission, you can read the report here. We’re continuing this vital work with renewed vigour in 2021 and would welcome all who look for bold but feasible solutions and want to play a role in the Together Alliance’s work.

You can submit your interest in joining and finding out more by emailing lyg@nhyouthcentre.org.uk.


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