Hotel 1824 was launched in March 2021 in partnership with Depaul UK and the Cardinal Hume Centre. Meghan Roach, our new Director of Operations, shares an update:
Thanks to investment from the GLA, London Councils and a pioneering group of private funders, Hotel 1824 provides the only youth-specific emergency accommodation in London for young people sleeping rough or on the verge of doing so. This unique pan-London model was built on the principle that young people have different experiences of homelessness and require targeted interventions to be able to get their lives back on track. Despite this, they are frequently left out of the narrative on homelessness, policy making and service design. The barriers they face to living independently have been more acutely felt as we emerge from the pandemic.
Hotel 1824 accommodates up to 40 young people at any one time. An on-site team of support workers provide pastoral care to young people 24-hours per day, including daily meals, healthcare, and independent living skills support. Alongside this, our expert Advice Team work with young people to develop tailored progression plans and make referrals into appropriate long-term accommodation. Young people are given access to a wide suite of services through the multiple project partners, such as family mediation, immigration advice, counselling, and education and employment opportunities. As one of the young people staying told us; “it's heaven”.
Now two-thirds of the way through the pilot, we have provided 136 young people with a safe place to stay. Of those who had already approached their Local Authority as homeless, less than half had received an assessment, highlighting how frequently young people are overlooked and risk falling through the gaps. We are delighted that the project has already supported 76 of these young people to move on positively into long-term accommodation including YMCAs, Local Authority housing, private rented schemes and return to family. We are also proud that the project has reached specific groups of young people who are often underrepresented in official statistics and homelessness services. A much higher proportion of women (37%) have accessed compared to generic rough sleeping provision, as well as increasing numbers of young people who identify as LGBTQI+ (13%), and 53% who identify as Black or Black British. The model was recently featured as a best practice example in the Homeless Link report; Homelessness Provision for the Future.
The latest CHAIN report shows that one in ten people sleeping rough in the capital are under the age of 25, starkly demonstrating the ongoing need for projects like Hotel 1824. As temperatures drop with the arrival of winter, it is vital that we secure commitment to continue providing services for young people who find themselves with nowhere safe to call home. We are on the search for a new project site and further phase of funding to take us beyond the end of the 12-month pilot.
Interested in supporting our work towards a permanent youth-specific rough sleeping pathway? Please email [email protected]
Meghan Roach is Director of Operations at New Horizon Youth Centre where she is responsible for the delivery of advice, accommodation, outreach and youth work services. Meghan was instrumental in the rapid set up of our new Hotel 1824 emergency accommodation project, including setting up referral mechanisms, designing a progression pathway for young people, and mobilising the delivery team.
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