A PROJECT to tackle youth homelessness in Bolton is set to go ahead in the New Year.

Housing officials hope the £4.85m Youth Homelessness Prevention Social Outcomes Contract, which will also concentrate on the City of Manchester and Salford, will eventually benefit 1,500 young people.

Support plans are to be devised for those involved, along with staged follow-up work along the way.

Once suitable accommodation is found, there would then be a six-month ‘sustainment’ programme, to ensure the option is appropriate and workable.

Councillors have been told that the initiative, for 18 to 25-year-olds, is not primarily for care leavers but there may be cases where this the most appropriate option.

In a joint report by Paul Dennett, the Salford City Mayor and housing portfolio lead and Steve Rumbelow, housing chief executive lead, it is said: “The model should provide a person-centred case management service, which is integrated into the local housing options statutory homeless prevention offer, as well as reaching further ‘upstream’ to prevent the need for a statutory response.

“The service should be delivered as a partnership across Greater Manchester, bringing multiple partners together and sharing expertise. “

The work will build on the experience of a Pathfinder scheme, operating across the same three areas, which has been running since last December.

This was delivered as a partnership between the GMCA, the Greater Manchestre Better Outcomes Partnership, a new special purpose vehicle, Bridges, and DePaul UK, the social agency, and is said to have benefitted 250 young people.

Housing officials say this model, which identified high-risk cases and engaged young people in ‘meaningful activities’, while resolving accommodation issues, was effective among 84 per cent of those targeted. For 39 per cent of those involved, it resolve an ‘imminent risk of homelessness’ and for another 45 per cent, it provided a sustained accommodation option.

Members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority have now authorised officers to seek a partner for the social contract work, which will run from January to December 2024.