West Sussex homeless project a success

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MORE than 350 vulnerable young people have 
been saved from homelessness.

The Youth Homeless Prevention Scheme, funded by West Sussex County Council, has now been extended thanks to its success.

It began in May 2011 and involved district and borough councils, supported housing providers and Sussex Central YMCA.

One of the key factors in the scheme is the use of quick access beds in young people’s housing support services.

They are available for up to two weeks while a careful assessment is made and longer-term solutions are looked at to stop the young person becoming homeless.

This avoids the need to place young people in unsuitable accommodation where they may be more at risk.

There is also a strong emphasis on supporting access to education or employment, a common factor in youth homelessness.

County councillor Peter Evans said: ‘Thanks to this new service, more than half of the young people helped over the past year were able to return home or to their family.

‘Where this was not possible, the service worked to identify other measures such as supported accommodation to ensure they weren’t homeless.’