Care-experienced people to be helped by new youth-specific Glasgow housing service

Care-experienced people to be helped by new youth-specific Glasgow housing service

The Rock Trust Glasgow team (Photo credit: Maria Junquera Cantera)

Scottish youth homelessness charity Rock Trust has partnered with Glasgow City Council to expand its successful Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) service into the city for the first time.

The team began working with young people in Glasgow in summer 2023, and the programme will be officially launched this month with an online webinar. Participants can join for free to find out how the programme will help care-experienced young people to access permanent accommodation and high-quality support.

The new service will see 35 young people supported to access accommodation on a permanent and unconditional basis. In addition to secure accommodation, the Rock Trust team are providing non-time limited, high intensity, holistic support to each young person, focussing on their individual strengths and needs.

Rock Trust was the first in the UK to take the Housing First model and tailor it for young people after successful evidence of HF4Y was built up in Europe and Canada. The model works on the belief that housing is a basic human right. The innovative approach differs from traditional routes to permanent housing as individuals are not passed through stages of temporary accommodation before being placed in their own home.

The charity now has established HF4Y services in West Lothian and Fife in partnership with Almond Housing Association, West Lothian Council and Fife Council, and an external evaluation of the first two years of the West Lothian service was published in 2020.

Rock Trust’s Housing First for Youth services have supported both care-experienced and homeless young people who often face a multitude of challenges including poor mental health, involvement with the criminal justice system and a lack of natural support networks.

In Glasgow, the service will be supporting care-experienced young people with high levels of support needs.

Scottish Government statistics published last month for 2022/23 show a 4% increase in youth homelessness in Scotland, with 10% of young people affected having come from a looked-after background. Glasgow itself has gone against the trend and seen a 14% decrease in applications and assessments, but there were still over 800 young people requiring support following a homeless assessment.

Rock Trust’s Glasgow team have already started supporting 22 young people and are actively engaging with housing providers to source the accommodation required to make the project a success.

A young person currently being supported said about the service: “it is a different process to what I have experienced before – we’re able to take our time and they break things down into manageable chunks. Having one dedicated worker has been really good as I’ve gotten to know them well. Also having the choice about how I’m supported is good - if I want to just sit and talk as much as I need, we can do that.”

Liz Simpson, Glasgow HSCP head of children’s services, North-West, said: “We are excited about the success that Housing First for Youth has had in other local authorities in Scotland and are delighted to be working with Rock Trust to deliver this model in Glasgow. We believe this is a great opportunity for some of our most vulnerable young people to become happy and settled in their own home. The focus on relationship-based practise and the ‘whatever it takes approach’ are key parts of the model that I believe will enable young people to achieve this.”

Alistair MacDermid, Rock Trust head of services, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our youth-specific homelessness services to Glasgow, with the launch of Housing First for Youth. There are many challenging social and environmental factors that are disproportionately impacting young people across Scotland right now. It’s significant that Glasgow City Council and local partners are embracing change and preventative ways of tackling homelessness. Together we can create a brighter future for young people in Glasgow.”

Next week’s 90-minute webinar takes place on Wednesday 27th September at 10am and is hosted by Rock Trust’s head of services Alistair MacDermid, with input from Rock Trust’s new Glasgow services manager Alice Vaughan, project workers, and Glasgow City HSCP Continuing and Aftercare Services.

The event is free and can be registered for here.

Share icon
Share this article: