Help for homeless people in St Albans district

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Help for homeless in weeks leading up to Christmas Help for homeless in weeks leading up to Christmas

According to a recent report by housing charity Shelter, in England more families with children are finding themselves living in bed and breakfast accommodation than for almost ten years.

Government figures show 2090 families living in this kind of emergency housing, an increase of 8 per cent from 2012 and an estimated 80,000 children in Britain will be homeless this Christmas.

Following these figures Herts Young Homeless (hyh), a charity that works with young people aged 16 to 24-years old, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, is visiting schools and youth groups to raise awareness about independent living and what it really means to leave home.

This is part of an education programme Home Truths, which aims to offer a range of structured workshops, assemblies and lessons.

Andrea Akoto, Education Service Manager said: "The sessions we deliver aim to encourage young people to think carefully about leaving home and to prepare beforehand.

"Of course difficult situations can arise at home with no prior warning, and by providing them with crucial information about where to seek help if they experience problems we hope to be able to prevent them becoming homeless in the future.

"If you need advice or support, contact hyh as soon as possible,don’t leave it until Christmas."

The team also run Solve It- Resolve It sessions which aim to improve young people’s understanding of conflict, enabling them to develop strategies to maintain healthy relationships.

The majority of the service users hyh work with have been sofa surfing, staying with friends or other relatives and cannot return home for any number of reasons.

Rebecca Way, PSHCE Coordinator at Roundwood Park School described the Solve It -Resolve It sessions as "very clear and relevant", and the team as "great speakers" with a "good relationship with students and an excellent presenting style."

A group from Links AP Academy in St Albans, who have attended several of the Education project’s sessions, recently ran a fundraising event led by Youth Worker, Melissa Coelho.

As part of their Year 11 Prince’s Trust community project, the XL Club 2 held a Coffee and Cake Morning for hyh in October, with a small difference- a touch of magic.

Each student learnt a magic trick, using cards and props to impress the guests for a small donation while they enjoyed their drinks.

To book a Home Truths or Solve It - Resolve It session call 01462 435668 (Ext. 31) or visit www.hometruthseducation.org.uk .

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