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Bright futures for young people at Project 99

Back in April of this year, we launched Project 99 together with New Horizon Youth Centre (NHYC), in our first partnership with them. Project 99 is a supported housing scheme that provides much needed affordable housing to 10 young people many of whom were formerly sleeping rough.

Designed to overcome some of the problems that keep young people trapped in homelessness, including having to find a large deposit and pay expensive rent, Project 99 offers a home along with a year of support from NHYC for all residents. This covers everything from emotional and mental health support to help with education and employment, giving them all they need to begin living independently after their time at Project 99 comes to an end.

NHYC is a day centre, outreach project and advice service providing support for homeless 16-21 year olds. Offering everything from hot food, showers and laundry to finding accommodation, training and employment, the centre also provides counselling, drug and alcohol support, health, fitness, art, and communication workshops.

NHYC has recently expanded into offering accommodation through innovative partnerships with housing providers, including Project 99, in response to the chronic lack of affordable housing for marginalised young people in London.

 

Looking back to day one

One of the new residents at Project 99 speaking about his new home said “before this it was a mix of sofa surfing and sleeping on the streets, and now I’ve got this… and I’ve got a room it’s got a sink, I’ve got friends – I can’t describe it, I can’t say how good it feels”.

Local Councillor Samata Khatoon visited the opening event to find out more, take a tour of the scheme and hear our Assistant Director of Care and Support Katri Wilson and New Horizon Chair Nick Hardwick’s speech to mark the occasion.

Katri Wilson stated at the launch of the project “this is the first time these people have had a home… if you give them something inspirational that you’ve put a lot of love into, it pays off and they appreciate it. I hope everyone here has a good future ahead.”

New Horizon Youth Centre Chair Nick Hardwick described the day we contacted New Horizon to discuss partnering as “Our lucky day… The young people we work with don’t just need housing, they need a home: the critical foundation for all the things they want to do in life. If you want to go to college, get a job, start a relationship, none of that is really possible if you don’t have a home.”

What the young people have achieved since moving in

We recently caught up with our people at Project 99 to find out how the young people living there are getting on. Here is what some of them have achieved:

  • As soon as he moved in and had a settled base, managed to secure a full-time job in construction within two weeks of moving in and is now very settled into a working life.
  • Supported and referred by NHYC, has been accepted on to a Camden Council Apprenticeship in Business Administration and will start in September.
  • Started work in the retail industry and received a lot of pre-interview support from NHYC.
  • Completed college and is being supported by NHYC with interview preparation and CV writing in preparation for employment.
  • Four young people will continue to progress with their studies in September in full-time education.
  • Two young people have taken up the offer of ongoing counselling support from NHYC.
  • Three young people have benefitted from NHYC’s Sports programme.
  • Completed a three-day Outdoor Pursuits Residential facilitated by NHYC.
  • All residents have been registered with Camden Primary Care Health Services.

We’re really pleased that the young people living at Project 99 have settled in and are succeeding in work, study and life. We recognise the positive difference this partnership can make to young people’s lives, thanks to the range of support provided by NHYC and the much-needed home we have provided.

We are delighted that Rt Hon Keir Starmer MP has continued to take an interest in our supported housing work and is due to visit Project 99 in October. We look forward to welcoming him to explain the positive impact Project 99 has had on the young people there.

To find out more about the scheme, please contact enquiries@originhousing.org.uk

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