SPEAR has accommodation to support young people aged 16 to young adult (the age limit, is different for different hostels). These young people are referred in many ways; via the council, via social services, from a situation of family breakdown, a care situation. They are not necessarily rough sleeping, but have been assessed to be in a situation of vulnerability where they need additional support and accommodation.
The Merton Young People’s Project became part of SPEAR in June 2011 when they took over from Mash who previously ran the service for more than 20 years. It is a short-stay project for young people in need of supported accommodation, aged 16-24 years.
The Hostel had a major renovation and doubled in size in 2015 and now has 16 bed spaces in shared rooms.
All residents work with a key worker and are offered advice and referrals for housing and benefit, and start to address any support needs. The young people are encouraged to participate in education and training, and supported to gain employment. With the stability of the hostel and a supportive environment, many of these young people are able to take positive steps to turn their life around.
In 2019, with funding from the Berkeley Foundation, a new post for a Young Persons Engagement Worker was created to help young people take part in activities to build confidence, improve wellbeing, and work towards education, training and employment. Read more about this project.
SPEAR’s Young People’s Programme based in Richmond began in 2007. Our three bedroom accommodation project is aimed at young men between the ages of 16 and 19.
The team of two offer support around emotional and mental health wellbeing, education, training and work, life skills, sexual health, drug and alcohol issues and clients transition from a young person to an adult.
The length of stay at this accommodation depends on how well the residents engage with SPEAR, up until they turn 18. If, during their minimum stay of 9 months, the young men demonstrate an eagerness to return to work or education, as well as having an understanding of budgeting and managing bills, understanding official letters and are able to cook healthy, economical meals, their key worker will write to the Housing Officer, nominating them for Move On.
Clients will be supported during the resettlement process – offering assistance with paperwork and contracts – and clients are able to contact SPEAR for advice and support even after resettling independently.
The vast majority of clients who stay with us at our Young People’s Programme in Richmond go on to live independently.
A short-stay project for four young people experiencing homelessness aged 16-21 years. All residents work with a keyworker and are offered advice and referrals for housing. Clients are encouraged to participate in education and training and are supported to gain employment.