New Foyer service provides safe temporary housing for young Poole parents

A new service to temporarily house young families living in unsuitable emergency accommodation has been set up at Poole Foyer in Hill Street a time when the Borough faces a chronic shortage of affordable rental housing.

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The new Young Families Service, piloted by local social housing provider Stonewater and financed by Borough of Poole, offers a safe, comfortable and welcoming temporary place to stay for young parent families facing homelessness. The service provides accommodation for up to seven young families for a maximum of 12 weeks. Families staying there are supported by a specialist Foyer team who work with them with the aim of providing emotional and practical support and assistance in finding suitable permanent housing in the community.

“The shortage of low-cost rental housing in the area means that many young families are being placed in unsuitable emergency bed and breakfast accommodation which can have a devastating impact on individual lives,” says Denise Burtenshaw-Phillips, Stonewater’s Supported Housing Manager. “The Young Families Service aims to provide these vulnerable families with a safe, supportive and enabling environment to help them find an affordable permanent home that meets their needs.

“We are proud to be working together with Borough of Poole on this scheme which will enable us to provide more diverse support to vulnerable young people in our community.”

The opening of the Young Families Service comes when the number of families living in emergency temporary housing nationally is up 64% since 2010*.

Councillor Karen Rampton, Cabinet Member for Housing, Borough of Poole, says: “We are committed to reducing the use of bed and breakfast and thanks to the successful partnership with Stonewater we are now able to provide essential support to families who have lost accommodation through no fault of their own. I would encourage any local young families who are worried about losing their home to get in touch with the council as soon as possible.”

Poole Foyer, which is run by Stonewater, provides temporary accommodation, training and support for a wide range of vulnerable young people aged between 16 and 25 in the local area with the aim of eventually helping them to live independently.

A donation from Stonewater’s Area Improvement Fund and the Longleigh Foundation has been invested in refurbishing and furnishing seven existing family rooms at the Foyer to meet the families’ special accommodation needs. The Council is also funding a dedicated worker who will provide specialist support for the families.