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Changing lives and tackling homelessness

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Changing lives and tackling homelessness

Published: 25 February 2022
£136,000 of Benefact Trust funding is supporting One YMCA’s life-changing (and life-saving) homelessness prevention projects, which aim to help the most vulnerable in the community to move on from homelessness and live full, independent lives.
In the past year, One YMCA have provided over 185,000 nights of safe and secure accommodation to those most in need, and their specialist housing support and complex-needs team supported more than 1,000 vulnerable individuals to escape homelessness and rough sleeping. 463 of their residents were also helped to move on positively into their own long term settled accommodation. 
One YMCA aim to double the number of vulnerable people they’re able to support to live life to the full within the community by 2025. Working closely with partners, One YMCA have developed a 5-stage Homeless Prevention Pathway, which will deliver positive social outcomes that best meet the needs of homeless young people. 
As a direct response to the life and death situations faced by over 100 entrenched rough sleepers in Watford, ONE YMCA have refurbished three floors at Charter House to create 66 new bed spaces where residents receive 24/7 support from the complex needs and substance misuse team. One YMCA updated existing 131 units where residents receive 24/7 low to medium support and specialist intervention, and converted existing offices into 34 high-quality studio apartments for more independent living where residents receive support with life skills. 
The Trust awarded One YMCA £131,000 to aid the completion of the work at Charter House. This money went towards a dedicated quiet room, which will be supported by the Chaplaincy team, giving the residents a safe space to talk openly.
Furthermore, One YMCA was awarded an additional £5,000 from Benefact Trust’s Afghan Evacuees Emergency Grants Programme. Providing trauma-informed, person-centric support to help individuals understand and appreciate all aspects of life in the UK and help them to integrate and contribute to it. This will help to relocate existing residents within their services as well as provide two Complex Needs Specialist Support Workers to work with residents which will help them on their path towards independence.
Mark Turner, Director of Operations at One YMCA, said: “It’s not just the financial support, although that is of course beyond amazing. It’s also the recognition and validation by the Trust of the phenomenal hard work which all of our front line teams have put in place to make these life-changing projects a reality”.
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We’re delighted to support One YMCA’s vision to see many more vulnerable people living full, independent lives, through projects such as the renovation of Charter House and their Afghan Resettlement Project. One YMCA are creating innovative and long-term solutions to one of society’s biggest issues, helping countless vulnerable people to gain news skills and move on from homelessness.”
For more information on the projects, visit: oneymca.org/accommodation 

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