How is the Cost of Living Crisis impacting young people? Hear from some young mums from Belfast around their experience and how it is impacting their lives.
The Homeless Prevention Fund Home Project has built on 2 previous and very successful rounds of Homeless Prevention Funding. During this phase we have developed our learning and practice based on international practice sharing and study visits to London, New York, Washington DC, and Boston; where we have learned from and refined practice to:
- Assist in the public’s understanding of the complex nature of homelessness.
- Identify particular groups which are at the highest risk of homelessness.
- Raise awareness of homelessness to ensure households approaching crisis can access support.
- Undertake pre-crisis intervention. This can take the form of advice and mediation services; proactive interventions and targeted services at known risk points.
- Prevent recurring homelessness, including ensuring tenancy sustainment
Through this work at NIYF we have seen major developments and outcomes for young people. Physically, our space continues to be developed through the support of the Homeless Prevention Fund to include the development of gender-neutral toilets, and improved disability access, which has resulted in increased numbers of young people from diverse backgrounds accessing services, including those seeking asylum, LGBTQI+ young people, young mothers, those in crisis or pre-crisis.
Key to this work has been the development of ‘drop-in’ facilities at NIYF. The creation of this safe space has proven to be an important element of our work whilst engaging with vulnerably housed young people. Through HPF our youth work team have supported young people with multiple complex need including being homeless or at risk of homelessness, having mental health issues, addiction, or being at risk of sexual exploitation.
We have noticed a significant increase in young people presenting in crisis since the introduction of Drop-in. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to spiral three is more onus on the voluntary sector to respond to need, supporting those at-risk struggles to have security needs met. Paramilitary lending is an increasing issue, and lack of food and shelter are real problems. We take pride in being able to provide hot food, shelter, and assistance with financial capability when young people engage in our programs.