The LHF are proud to support the work of Project Vista, and delighted that they were successful in the London Homelessness Awards 2017. This article by Jane Sanders on Network Homes explains what the partnership project is all about, and originally appeared on the National Housing Federation website.
Project Vista is a unique partnership between Network Homes and New Horizon Youth Centre (NHYC) that works to create positive futures and break the cycle of homelessness amongst young people in London.
Network Homes believes good homes make everything possible and our mission is to provide quality homes and services for people who need them most. We work to support our residents to meet their aspirations and fulfil their potential and are committed to tackling homelessness wherever we can. That’s why we embarked on a partnership with NHYC in an innovative project that brings housing associations together with the voluntary sector to find shared solutions to youth homelessness.
Tackling the root causes of homelessness and equipping vulnerable young people with the skills for a better future is a major part of Project Vista’s success. It has given the young people involved far more than just a home. They have access to career development, training, mental health and emotional support and advice which many young homeless people miss out on. It’s more than likely the young people would not have been catered for within the existing housing system and this project has provided an invaluable solution and a model than can be replicated by others.
The aim is that within a year the young people are in some form of work or education which is likely to prevent them from being homeless. The project also enables young people to save for a deposit to move on to their own place.
Everyone who lives in our accommodation was previously vulnerable and in urgent housing need. Some were sleeping on the streets, others were staying at their family home but experiencing conflict or abuse, and the rest slept wherever they could – from friends’ sofas to cars.
There are currently 20 young people living in four flats in Islington and Hackney which are provided by Network Homes and managed by NHYC. So far, the project has housed 36 young people and they have all completed an independent living skills programme and gained employability skills.
The value of this unique project has now been recognised externally. In October 2017 Project Vista won first prize in the London Homelessness Awards in recognition of its innovative approach. The judges were impressed by the collaborative approach between the two organisations and the way young people are placed at its heart. The £30,000 prize money will go direct to NHYC and will be used to extend frontline services.
We are incredibly proud of our work with NHYC and the difference Project Vista is making. We hope the project will continue to thrive for years to come and we are committed to helping to tackle homelessness.