Charity To Receive £3.8m To Help UK’s Young Homeless

A scheme to support young offenders, care leavers and other young people deemed at risk of becoming homeless is to receive almost £3.8 million over seven years from a Government fund.

The investment by Futurebuilders England in the charity Foyer’s Transitions programme could save taxpayers more than £1 billion by revolutionising the way services for vulnerable young people are delivered, it was claimed.

At a special event in London to celebrate the funding, Foyer’s chief executive Jane Slowey will explain how the charity’s new “3P” approach – prevention, preparation and progression – will slash the current £200 million per year cost of caring for vulnerable young people, as well as tackling anti-social behaviour and other social problems through early intervention and empowering young people in the decisions and policies that affect their lives.

The charity already provides housing and support to thousands of disadvantaged young people in 134 Foyers around the country and has a 75% success rate of clients progressing into secure education and employment.

Ms Slowey said: “Over the seven-year period Foyer will support over 90,000 young people at risk in a way that cuts through red tape and helps overcome the unacceptable shortcomings in the delivery of services to young people in all areas. It currently costs £50,800 a year to send someone to a young offenders’ institution but £20,300 to send someone to Eton.

“Mental health issues and reoffending rates are just two related problems that are deeply concerning. This Futurebuilders investment marks an important step in tackling the problems of the past and moving forwards to better serve young people.”

At the event, which also coincides with Foyer’s 15th anniversary, Social Exclusion Minister Hilary Armstrong is set to deliver the keynote address. Third Sector Minister Ed Miliband and The Big Issue’s John Bird are also due to attend, along with young people from Foyer who will share their perspectives and stories with policy-makers, commissioners, housing associations, think tanks, commissioners, voluntary delivery organisations and funders.

Futurebuilders England chief executive, Richard Gutch, said: “Identifying a gap in provision, Foyer has designed a programme to provide tailored educational support to those leaving care or young offenders’ institutions and young people at risk of becoming homeless. This is an ambitious project that they have the experience and expertise to deliver.”