The Project was founded 20 years ago, and has helped over 650 vulnerable young people during that time. They offer continuous support to help their clients into stable accommodation and help them develop the skills they need to live independently.
The Prevention of Homelessness team tries to mediate tensions within families where there is a risk of breakdown, while the Tenancy Support programme helps clients with common difficulties like paying bills, budgeting and decorating. Their ethos of ‘floating support’ means that the end goal is always getting young people back on their own two feet and supporting themselves, but the project treats every individual differently and helps they clients adjust at their own pace.
Jean Burnside, one of the project leaders, told Emma that the problem of homelessness was on the rise because of measures like the Bedroom Tax. Ten young people have presented as homeless in the last week alone.
“The work of the KEY Project is truly impressive, and in their 20 year history they’ve done an incredible job transforming the lives of young people who found themselves in the most desperate situations.
“With Coalition cuts putting a huge strain on families, and youth unemployment soaring under this Government, services like this are being put under even greater strain, and with further local government cuts announced in the most recent spending review they may come under threat. The Government needs to wake up and realise what damage its harsh cuts are doing to some of the most vulnerable people in constituencies like Shields.”