Rock Trust launches Perth project for young people affected by homelessness



Despite the restrictions and difficulties presented by lockdown, the new Perth team at Rock Trust launched a project commissioned by Perth & Kinross Council to help young people affected by homelessness in the city.

Since April, the Youth Boost Project has already benefited 18 young people, who are being supported to access and maintain accommodation and move forward with their lives.

Through the Youth Boost Project, Rock Trust provides emotional and practical support to help young people live independently and move on from homelessness for good. Support is offered one-on-one and covers areas such as budgeting and finances, education and employment, health and well-being and social networks.

During lockdown, Rock Trust has been able to provide additional support to young people, include sims and smartphones for those without internet access, to help them access support and stay in touch with friends and family.

Ella is sixteen years old. She got into trouble early on in lockdown when she left the hostel she was living in, against the advice of staff. When she tried to go back she wasn’t allowed in.

With nowhere to go, she ended up staying with a family friend. She couldn’t go back to her own family because her relationship with them had broken down.

When Ella was introduced to Rock Trust through the Youth Boost Project, the first thing their Perth team did was to help her make a homeless application to the local council.

Ella disclosed to her project worker that she was pregnant, and that she didn’t feel able to go through with the pregnancy. Her worker helped her make an appointment at the hospital and supported her by video call when she went in for her scan.

Her worker has continued to support Ella emotionally and help her to get ready for moving into her new accommodation.

Another young person the team are working with is Neil. Neil left home before his 16th birthday to escape a verbally abusive father who couldn’t accept his sexual orientation.

He was temporarily staying in a bedsit, until he was provided with his own tenancy and support through the Youth Boost Project.

Neil can struggle with his mental health and has weekly support from a counsellor. This is his first time living alone and managing a tenancy, something most young people at that age would not experience if they are living at a home with the support and protection of their family. The Perth team are supporting Neil to make a success of his new home by helping him with learning life skills like budgeting and paying bills. He is also getting support writing his CV and looking for employment.

Leeanne, support assistant for the Youth Boost Project, said: “These past couple of months, I have had the pleasure of getting to know these individuals, all with different backgrounds, experiences and stories to tell.

“I believe, despite the challenges that lockdown has brought to us all, positive relationships are being built. This makes me eager to see what we could accomplish for the future, once lockdown is over, working together to end youth homelessness in Perthshire.”

Young people or anyone concerned about a young person in the Perth area can find out more about the project by calling 0800 781 1245 free of charge or emailing Rock Trust’s main address admin@rocktrust.org



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