In May 2011 a scheme was launched by West Sussex County Council’s Youth Services team to help potentially homeless young people in West Sussex. The scheme also involved the council’s Children’s Services team and seven of the district and borough councils. The scheme supported providers of housing such as Sussex Central YMCA and Stoneham and Sanctuary Housing Associations.
Now, thanks to the success of the scheme, it has been extended for a further two years with extra funding being provided by West Sussex County Council. 360 young people, who could possibly have been homeless, have been helped by the scheme in the last year. Many youngsters have even been helped to return to their families.
If this was not possible then other measures were taken, such as supported accommodation, to make sure that the youngsters were not homeless. This was one of the key points of the scheme and it used Quick Access beds in young people’s housing support services. They were used for up to two weeks while a longer term solution was looked for.
This way, youngsters were not at risk as they might have been if they were in unsuitable accommodation were they could be exposed to many different dangers. Emphasis is also being put on giving the youngsters access to education and employment which is what many of them require.