A CHARITY for young homeless people — which had reached crisis point last month — has been handed a huge lottery grant to keep people off the streets.
Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme (BYPHS) has received £277,288 from the Big Lottery for a new project The scheme, Project Front Door, involves supported tenancies for young people who have struggled to hold down a stable home.
BYPHS has identified eight former sheltered accommodation flats for the elderly in Pentland Terrace in Halliwell and plans to transform the properties.
The project is aimed at young people who are not considered to be able to manage their own front door so staff will control entry to the building 24 hours a day.
Maura Jackson, director at Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme, said: “This is a group of people who have been going from service to service for a long time, we knowmost of them by name.
“The problem is that when you’re young and you get a flat of your own, you get lonely and you might invite a friend around.
“Soon that friend is bringing friends, and before you know it your flat is full of people. As the tenant you’re responsible for the behaviour of your guests so if there’s trouble and you’re evicted, you’re classed as being intentionally homeless and you can’t access homeless services again for 12 months.”
Just last month, bosses from the charity said they had been forced to turn young homeless people away because it could not cope with the rise in demand.
Ms Jackson said a lack of jobs and education opportunities has led to the biggest spike in young homelessness she has seen in two years.
She added: “With Project Front Door they’ll live with 24-hour support.
“We’ll make sure they’re in a routine, tell them when to get upand go to bed,when to attendappointments, give them advice on personal hygiene and drugs.”
The charity put the initial bid in last April and made a full application last August.
The project has funding for three years and will see up to 15 young people a year spending between six and nine months with the scheme.