Do you want to be at the forefront of changing young homeless people's lives for the better?
Do you want to be a player in preventing young people from getting stuck in a cycle of homelessness?
Are you someone with the talent to Boost Up the next generation, mentor them, and link them with their dreams and aspirations?
Then we want you to join us.
We have recently secured funding from the Greater London Authority for an exiting and innovative new scheme, entitled 'Boost Up Young Homeless Londoners'. The scheme is designed to dramatically increase access to housing for young homeless Londoners at the same time as radically improving their prospects for the future.
There is a very real and urgent need for an increase in provision for young homeless Londoners, for the following reasons:
If you are homeless and between the ages of 18-25, your access to housing is minimal, and it is very likely that you will get stuck in a cycle of homelessness.
This is because the amount of housing benefit you are awarded at this age by local authorities is far lower than what you will be awarded if you are older. This means that young people are unable to afford rents in the city, and they remain homeless for a long period of time.
A generation of young, homeless Londoners are unable to rent in London, unable to stay in the communities they grew up in. Aspirations are crushed, futures put in jeopardy. We know that young people have inspiring ambitions for themselves, compassion for others, and a love for their city. We want to prevent these qualities from being eroded.
You will be at the forefront of making that happen.
The project works in the following stages:
- A young homeless person is put on the scheme and enters into a contract with us to engage with our support services.
- In return, we will provide a ‘Boost Up’, i.e a top-up of rent. For example, if we find a room for the client which is £170 a week, we will pay the £76 that is not covered by housing benefit.
- We will continue to provide this top-up to the rent until the young person is supported into work which puts them in a position to pay the rent themselves.
- We will then continue to support them until they get where they want to be.
- Your role will be to lead on providing casework to this group around our philosophy of 'One for the Wallet, One for the Soul'. With your support, clients are guided through this. This entails a detailed exploration of the young person's career goals and creative aspirations. This key feature ensures that whilst they're supported into a job that pays their bills and gets them off housing benefit - 'the wallet', they are also continuing to be caseworked around their long term aspirations and their talents made more use of and their dreams realised 'the soul'. Our Patron, the actor comedian and rapper Ben Bailey (Doc Brown) Smith, who has thrown his weight behing the project, will assist with developing the ‘soul’ component of the support scheme. You will be expected to meet with your clients at least once a week, and ensure that clear and detailed support plans are developed for each client, setting targets and milestones in them finding secure and meaningful employment which means they no longer need to rely on either housing benefit or our top up fee.
- You will be expected to establish, develop and maintain relationships with landlords and agents. This entails finding new agents/landlords and explaining to them the merits of taking young people onto this scheme, and maintaining contact with the same agents/landlords who have taken young people onto the scheme.
- Ensuring that each young person's benefits are in place and addressing any complications they have with Universal Credit and/or other benefits. Once in employment you will be responsible for carrying out a change of circumstance.
- Developing detailed budgets with each young person, establishing with them the salary threshold they need to reach in employment to ensure that they no longer need either the top up or housing benefit top up completely, and identifying at which point the top up fee can be reduced.
- Finding and recruting a new cohort of volunteers who will become mentors and supporters of our young people under the scheme.
- Taking place in fundraising activities for the scheme as and when required.
- Assisting in other related ways to the functioning of projects at Ashford Place.
Experience essential for the role
- A minimum of one year providing employment, training and education services to people, or a comparable field.
- Experience of working with vulnerable people and the manner in which to work with them.
- Experience or a good understanding of housing benefit and other benefits.
- Experience or a good understanding of working with landlords/agents.
- Above average computer literacy.
- Commitment to the project for its duration.
Preferred but not essential experience
- Experience of fundraising.
- High degree of negotiation and persusian skills.
- Volunteer recruitment experience.
- An understanding of young people's lives in the inner city and marginalised communities.
35 hours a week.
Because of the availability of some of our clients (many are in college in the daytime), we would prioritise applicants who would be able to commit to the following:
3 weekday day shifts (8am-4pm), one evening shift (4pm-11pm) and one weekend day shift (8am-4pm).
3 weekday day shifts (8am-4pm) and two evening shifts (4pm-11pm).
Dates are negotiable and applicant must be open to change of shift if other formats end up working better.
12 July 23:59. Interested Applicants are advised to apply early with a CV and cover letter. CVs sent without cover letters will not be considered.
An immediate start is preferred.
'Today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I can't stop smiling'
So said one of our clients a few years ago, as she left our centre with her suitcase, on her way to her new flat. A few months prior she had been sleeping rough outside a block of flats off Edgware Road. Today she wakes up and walks to her work along the Thames, where her flat is based. It was a great day.
And you can be part of that. You can make that happen.
At Ashford Place, we run a project, unique to London, a direct access day and night centre that is open 365 days a year. Its goal is to provide emergency shelter for up to 30 rough sleepers a night, providing them with the support needed to move into long-term accommodation and address their underlying needs.
This project is entering its 5th year, and in that time have provided emergency accommodation for over 400 homeless people. They have come from every corner of the planet, with so many different stories and journeys, but the same ambition: To live a better and more prosperous life.
For an experience of diversity, there is no better place in the UK, as we have people from the all over the world including Eastern Europeans, Africans, South East Asians, and recent refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Eritrea, and Sudan. The people you meet, the stories they will tell, the peace you will get from the environment and the good you will feel in yourself for doing this, none of it can be overstated enough.