Breathing Space Lancashire, a project that brings together providers of support for homeless young people in East Lancashire, has launched a new website that aims to help prevent homelessness before it happens.
Delivered by Lancashire County Council, in partnership with local charities Positive Action in the Community, Ynot Aspire and Nightsafe, the project aims to help young people aged 14-25 who are at risk of becoming homeless by offering advice, guidance and one to one support earlier and provide help in navigating their situation without leaving the family home unless they have to.
The easy-to-use new website offers young people a space to find out more information and advice on many of the issues and challenges young people faced with homelessness can face, as well as being a central contact point for young people to reach out to Breathing Space in complete confidence, through it’s online chat function or via links to its social media pages, dedicated text line or phone numbers.
The project also encourages friends and family of those experiencing difficulties and who may be at risk of homelessness, to use the website and dedicated contact details for support and advice.
Breathing Space Lancashire has so far supported over 400 young people across East Lancashire, many of which have suffered from poor physical and emotional wellbeing, and many more who are not in education or training, which makes it more difficult to access housing. Those supported have been provided with respite accommodation, information, access to specialist services and mediation with family and friends.
Youth homelessness is caused by a range of complex factors and can be triggered by life events such as relationship breakdowns with family and friends; mental health problems; having an unexpected pregnancy and becoming a young parent; inability to secure meaningful employment, redundancy and financial hardship; being a victim of domestic violence; and drug and alcohol issues.
Claire Bennett, charity manager at Positive Action in the Community, said: “Our main aim is to provide the support needed to keep young people across East Lancashire safe and to prevent homelessness before it happens. The new website, its chat function and links to social media, is an excellent way to help us achieve this. If you’re not getting on well at home, you’re sofa surfing or you are actually homeless, get in touch via the Breathing Space Lancashire website or social media pages, and we will do all we can to help you.
“The Breathing Space service is also there to help parents and carers too, so if you’re worried about a young person in your household, please ask us for help if you need it."
Jan Larkin, chief executive at Nightsafe, said: “We know that it can be scary to ask for help, so Breathing Space Lancashire’s new website is a fantastic, confidential way to access information on homelessness and find additional support if you need it. Our teams are really experienced in dealing with all sorts of issues around homelessness, so from simple, good advice, right through to finding emergency housing, they’ll be able to help.”
For more information, visit www.breathingspacelancs.org.uk.