What is Housing First for Youth?
The goal is to:
- Help prevent homelessness or help young people to quickly exit homelessness and support
- Address the needs of developing adolescents and young people and facilitate a healthy transition to adulthood, all while having a safe and stable place to call home.
Flexible Housing Options
Young people often need more choice and flexibility with their accommodation. It is normal for young to experiment and explore, as a natural part of growing up. This helps them to experience and learn from challenges, develop resilience and identify what they want to do and who they want to be. HF4Y responds to young people's natural desire to change living location or situation, more often than adults. It provides space for them to take risks and 'fail', and provides intensive support that helps build their tenancy management skills and independence. It offers both stability and flexibility.
This enables young people to safely explore different options. Most importantly, HF4Y ensures that the accompanying support services stay with the young person as they move from one home to the next.
In HF4Y, there’s a strong focus on rapid response and prevention, acting as quickly as possible to prevent young people from becoming homeless, either for the first time or to prevent repeat experiences of homelessness. This includes rapidly intervening to support young people already experiencing homelessness, in order to minimise the length of this experience, at this crucial developmental stage in their lives.
Positive youth development
Positive youth development is a strengths based model, that works to enhance the protective factors and resilience of young people. It recognises the physical cognitive, emotional and social needs of developing adolescents and young adults. Central to this is that young people are not rushed to assume the same responsibilities of an independent adult. Focus is instead given to supporting needs, developing skills and confidence and providing stability. This may involve: identifying personal strengths and goals, working to improve communication and problem solving skills, supporting reconnection with family members and other natural supports, and support to build or repair these relationships.
Housing First Service Evaluations
A number of Housing First services from across the country have published their evaluation reports to share the approaches and learning from their projects.
Housing First for Housing Providers
We have produced and compiled a set of up-to-date, practical guidance and resources to support housing providers to provide properties for Housing First services.
Housing First for Commissioners
We have produced and compiled a set of up-to-date guidance and practical resources to support the commissioning of successful Housing First services. You may also be interested in our research reports.