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Help at Hand for Young Homeless

Shared house under 25s 2
KEY TO THE DOOR – Jake with (from the left) Ruth Haldane of Clitheroe Christians in Partnership, Lorraine Prentice of YMCA Blackburn and Rachael Stott.
Published Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Help is at hand for young homeless people in Ribble Valley thanks to a collaboration between the borough council, Clitheroe Christians in Partnership and the YMCA.

The three organisations have joined forces to purchase and run a house in Clitheroe town centre that will be used as supported accommodation for young homeless people taking their first step into independent living.

According to Government figures, 52 per cent of homeless people are under 25 and one in 100 young people will experience homelessness in their lifetime, usually due to family breakdown.

Homeless young people have poorer mental and physical health than their peers, are more likely to have alcohol or drug problems and many are not in education, employment or training, purely because of their homelessness.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s housing strategy manager, Rachael Stott, said: “The provision of housing for the young and elderly is one of the biggest challenges facing the council, which is working closely with housing partners to address the problem.

“Local young people commonly deal with homelessness by spending a night here and a night there, called sofa-surfing, and have no regular place to stay.

“Although youth homelessness is more prevalent in urban areas, Ribble Valley is not immune and we are delighted to work with our partners to bring this much need facility into use.”

Ribble Valley joinery student Jake, 19, became homeless after family breakdown and said living at the house for 18 months had enabled him turn his life round.

“There are two of use in the house at the moment and it has been great living near my gran.

“Being settled has helped me deal with my problems and turn my life around, and I will soon qualify as a joiner.

“The house has been brilliant and I would encourage any young person in Ribble Valley facing homelessness to reach out for help.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council is at the forefront of several housing initiatives, from the provision of affordable properties in partnership with the housing sector to cutting-edge energy efficiency.

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