We are particularly pleased to help young people (aged 16-24, or older if they are especially vulnerable) with legal advice and assistance in any of the four areas of social welfare law in which we work.
16-24 year olds are still one of the largest groups recorded as statutory homeless and nearly half of those who are classified as living in ‘non-statutory homeless households’. Many have been forced to leave home because of relationship breakdown, abuse or neglect. Many ‘sofa-surf’ at friends’ houses and some sleep on the streets. Some young people do obtain housing, but often in temporary, insecure and inappropriate accommodation, with no support.
Research has also shown that almost 60% of homeless people seeking advice in London are aged under 25 and that 58% of young people face legal problems without obtaining advice. This represents the tip of the iceberg as there are many young people who are unable to access legal services.
For this reason we have set up a Youth Homelessness Advice Project – an outreach project aimed at helping young people (16-24) with legal advice and assistance in any of the four areas of social welfare in which we work.
We are able to offer confidential legal advice to help young people understand their rights as well as practical information with regards to issues that can arise with homelessness, and access to welfare benefits.
By bringing our services to Youth Centres and venues that are already familiar to young people, we aim to be as accessible and approachable as possible.
The advice provided includes, but is not limited to:
- Homeless applications
- Providing advice and guidance about renting in the private sector (when there are legal issues or as part of a homelessness application)
- Claiming benefits for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- Accessing support for their other related legal problems
- Rent arrears which threaten their homes
- Possession actions
- Accessing support from Social Services for example where there are child protection issues, young people leaving care and young people with immigration issues.
In 2010 – 2011 we assisted over 100 young people with homelessness and other related issues through our outreach services in Waltham Forest and we have now expanded this by providing outreach sessions in Hackney also.
How to access our services:
We are pleased to be working together with the Off Centre and The Levy Centre in an outreach project aimed at being as accessible and approachable to young people as possible by giving free advice sessions through these well established youth centres.
As well as access to our advice services through the Youth Homelessness Outreach Project we also run the following alternatives services:
Text Message Service
Young people aged 16-25 from Hackney, who need help with a homelessness or welfare benefits problem can text HCLC direct and receive a call back from us to find out how we can help them.
All the young person needs to do is text the word ‘advice’ to 07860 017 253.
For more information, download a poster with all the details HERE.
Although we are primarily a Specialist Advice Provider, we are funded to offer a General Help telephone service. This service is open from 10am to 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (although Friday is reserved for
Immigration related issues). Click HERE for more information.