New Dumfries home for kids coming out of care

A £2.2 MILLION supported accommodation unit for young people leaving care is about to open in Dumfries.

The new project at Holm Avenue, Troqueer, has been jointly developed by DGHP and the council to help turn around the lives of young adults and save them from homelessness.

According to Councillor Tom McAughtrie, the community has supported the development as it will give “young people a chance in life”.

He said: “Initially, a number of residents thought the unit was going to house youngsters with addictions to drugs but since they found the aim was to prepare them for the outside world and teach them housekeeping skills, there have been no worries.

“The supported accommodation unit is for kids coming out of care and giving them a wee chance in life; that’s no bad thing.”

DGHP ploughed £475,000 of its own funds into the project. A further capital investment of £825,000 came from housing association grant funding from the Scottish Government.

In addition, the project secured inward investment from the Big Lottery “Investing in Communities” Fund of revenue totalling £941,842 over five years.

The project will be made up of six two-bedroom bungalows and four two-bedroom semi-detached houses. Another unit will be used as a staff base.

Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s housing sub-committee will be asked to allocate £20,000 to provide carpets, white goods and blinds for the properties. Social work services will help provide beds, sofas and more personal items for the homes.

The project will act as a stepping stone where young people can spend a safe and secure time with intensive support to help them gain the skills necessary for them to be able to live independently before moving on to permanent accommodation.

The project will help to divert young people leaving care from the homeless route and benefit around 60 care leavers in its first five years.

A DGHP spokeswoman said: “This is a fantastic project. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Big Lottery Fund to bring this together.

“We will be phasing in the young people but hope most will be there by the end of February.”