Minister for Welfare Delivery, Caroline Nokes, visited Home Group’s Tyneside Foyer in Newcastle – a service which provides accommodation to 72 people aged 16-25 who would otherwise be homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Minister, who was recently appointed to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as an Under Secretary of State, met with clients who have benefitted from the accommodation and also training on offer at the Foyer.
One of those she met was 19-year-old Chloe Downey who came to the Foyer almost two years ago after becoming homeless.
The Minister for Welfare Delivery said: “Homelessness is a complex issue, and many people find themselves on the streets at no fault of their own.
“As part of our plan to create a Britain that works for everyone we’re working closely with providers like Home Group to ensure that those individuals affected get the right support that they need.
“That’s why we’ve made over £1bn available to prevent and tackle homelessness, and support vulnerable households since 2010.
“It was great to hear from young people helped by the Tyneside Foyer, including Chloe who is now on her way to becoming a mechanic.”
The Tyneside Foyer houses 52 private en-suite bedrooms with clients sharing communal facilities and 20 fully self-contained one bedroom flats which clients progress onto once they develop independent living skills.
Chloe said: “I enjoyed speaking with the MP and talking about my time here. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on the progress I’ve made and she seemed genuinely interested in my story and how the Tyneside Foyer has helped me”
Rosemary Du Rose, Home Group’s executive director of customer service, said: “We’re very proud of the work we do at the Tyneside Foyer and we were delighted to host Caroline and show her around the service and give her an opportunity to talk with staff and clients.
“Supported housing helps young people, who may not have had the best start in life, to gain stability, training, skills and independence.”
Home Group has run the Tyneside Foyer since 2002. The Foyer helps young people to develop budgeting skills, maintain relationships, access education and training and offer help with substance misuse problems.
The Foyer underwent a £4.5m rebuild in 2012 following a fire which devastated the building. The re-build included six training and meeting rooms including an ICT suite used to provide training to clients and the wider community.