A Camden-based charity has been awarded £250,000 to support 16-24 year-olds at risk of homelessness and to help rough sleepers find accommodation.
City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded the grant to New Horizon Youth Centre for its overstretched service.
Each year around 1,200 young people come to the charity for support and advice.
New Horizon Youth Centre says the numbers they help are increasing, and the situation has worsened with welfare benefit changes and the lack of appropriate accommodation for this age group.
The charity will use the funding to pay for an advice and support service, helping people into hostels, shelters, and other accommodation, and referring them to health and social care services.
The grant will also support a benefits and debt advice service, providing budgeting help, advocacy, and access to legal expertise.
Alison Gowman, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “New Horizon Youth Centre helps young people to get off and stay off the streets, transforming their lives with help, advice and support.
“With so many people in London using the charity’s expert advice services it is clear that the extra funding from City Bridge Trust will be of great benefit.
“Tackling disadvantage across the capital is essential to making London a fairer and better place in which to live.”
In the last 12 months the charity has given 2,119 one-to-one advice sessions to 567 young people, as well as supporting 328 young people with benefit advice and Universal Credit claims.
It has also helped 112 young people to access emergency or short stay accommodation for up to six months, preventing them from rough sleeping and assisted 97 young people with securing longer term accommodation successfully, including an additional 119 who were helped to go home safely to their family.
Phil Kelly, CEO of New Horizon Youth Centre, said: “Finding places for young people to stay in the short term and call home in the long term remains the biggest challenge that we and the young people at the centre face.
“Each of the four members of staff in our Advice Team runs 16 appointments each week and will support many more over the phone and via email in-between these formal appointments. There is always more demand for the service than we can meet, with at least three young people turned away daily.
“Given the rising numbers of young people accessing the centre who originate from outside of the UK, we have seen a much higher demand for this service in the last year – with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants all accessing the service at least 50 per cent more than UK residents.”