Birmingham unites to tackle youth homelessness
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Birmingham City Council has become the first city to adopt a ‘collective approach’ in a national campaign against youth homelessness.
The news was announced by Birmingham-based St Basils, one of 7 charities nationwide who have joined forces with businesses and health professionals as part of the campaign to ‘End Youth Homelessness’.
Both the public and private sectors in Birmingham are now pledging their support for the campaign which calls for better access to housing options, healthcare, education, training and jobs.
Councillor Steve Bedser (photo), Birmingham City Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "Our young people deserve every opportunity to develop and flourish and the city council is delighted to be working with St Basils and other partners from across the city to support this campaign."
St Basils, a registered charity and housing association, works across Birmingham, Solihull and Worcestershire with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping on average 4,500 young people per year.
St Basils says a collective response is needed, involving the support of local communities and the assistance of businesses, to increase the number of opportunities they can offer in terms of mentoring, placements and apprenticeships to ensure all young people can gain skills and employment.
St Basils chief executive Jean Templeton said: “We know that adolescence and early adulthood is a challenging time for young people, whether or not they have a supportive family. Youth unemployment is at record levels; access to affordable housing which is safe and decent is increasingly difficult; and both our minimum wage and welfare system assume that young people will be better able to manage on limited resources than those with more experience. If the transition to adulthood is to be a positive one, we need to ensure that we collectively support our young people, particularly those who are most vulnerable or have limited access to personal and family support.”