Work on supported housing scheme for the homeless is nearing completion

The Advertiser Series: Josh Cunnington on the terrace of The Crossing Josh Cunnington on the terrace of The Crossing

WORK is nearing completion on a £1.4m purpose-built supported housing scheme for young homeless people in a North Yorkshire town.

Broadacres has built nine one-bedroom apartments on the site of the former Station House on Boroughbridge Road, next to Northallerton Railway Station.

When it is completed at the end of January, the scheme will replace Broadacres’ existing homelessness service in the town's South Parade.

The service provides supported housing for 16-25 year-olds who have been left homeless for various reasons, including a family breakdown.

It offers tenancy-related support for up to two years to empower and provide the necessary skills to enable young people to move onto independent living.

The people who will be moving from South Parade to the new building, which will be known as The Crossing, were recently given a tour of their new home. Each person will have their own self-contained apartment, but there are also communal facilities.

Among those impressed by the new surroundings was 18-year-old Josh Cunnington.

Josh was left homeless after his mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease and was no longer able to look after him.

He was referred to Broadacres’ homelessness service in July 2012 and has thrived.

He is currently nearing the end of a travel and tourism course at Middlesbrough College and has been accepted to Coventry University next year to study for a degree in Aviation Management. At the end of his degree he hopes to get a job in the airport industry.

Josh said: “The scheme has made such a difference to my life. Before I came here I had no plans to go to college or university, but it has given me the stability I needed and helped to build my confidence, and I am now so much more optimistic about the future.

“The new building is fantastic and I am looking forward to moving in. In the current scheme, we have to share a kitchen and my bathroom is not linked to my bedroom, but now I will be able to cook in my own kitchen. It will give us all more room and even greater independence.”

Stephen O’Brien, Broadacres’ Scheme Manager Young Persons’ Services, said: “The Crossing will make a big difference to the lives of young people who, for a number of reasons often beyond their control, find themselves without a home.

“Whilst they are with us we offer them support in areas such as training, employment and personal development with the aim of breaking what can be a very vicious cycle of having no home, no job and no hope.

“We also hope the new scheme will go even further towards breaking some of the many myths about homeless people.”

The cost of the new scheme is £1.4m, of which £572,000 came via grant funding from the Homes and Community Agency, the national housing and regeneration agency for England.

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