The YMCA announced today that it is to save the Young People’s Homeless Service provided by a local Walsall charity from closure.The STREAMS project which provides 21 flats of supported accommodation in North Walsall, run by local charity First Base Walsall was due to close on 30th September following the removal of Supporting People grant funding from Walsall Council.
YMCA will take over direct control of the project amid concern that Walsall Council has failed to provide sufficient support for vulnerable homeless young people following Council cuts.
The Council ceased funding 96 units of supported housing for young people at the end of September, which has been provided by a range of housing providers, and intended to commission a range of new replacement services in time for the closures. However no replacement services have been commissioned and they are unlikely to be put in place until the Spring of 2015, after Winter.
A spokesperson for the YMCA said “we have been in discussion with Walsall Council on the transitional arrangements for their new service, and have sympathy with their intended
outcomes, however we do not feel that adequate steps have been taken to safeguard the needs of vulnerable young people at this time. The local YMCA Board has therefore decided to finance this supported accommodation from its charitable reserves.”
The YMCA will accommodate young people aged between 16 – 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and will provide safe, supportive accommodation. Staff and volunteers are available to support young people to progress into education, employment and training, and to assist in their longer term housing needs. The YMCA provides over 270 bed spaces for vulnerable homeless young people each night across the Black Country.
Anyone wishing to make a referral into the new YMCA provision should call 01922 641 876.