Supported Housing Services
CAYSH provides safe and secure homes along with support from CAYSH staff for young people that provide stability and the chance to plan and move forward. We want everybody we work with to achieve their ambitions and help them plan to do just that.
Typically our Supported Housing services have three to six bedrooms in a shared house and we provide support in more than 30 houses in London. We will try to meet the preferences for location and the age and gender of others they share with. Some properties are for 16/17s and others for 18+ year olds. Some are just for young women or young men and some are mixed. Normally bathrooms are shared, as are kitchens and gardens.
CAYSH provides a safe and secure home and support to move on in life. A key independent living skill is respecting those we live with and near to. In achieving this one thing we create a platform to discuss any issues with those around us. We want the people we work with to be a positive part of the local community and provide guidance and support to help this happen. If needed we are on hand to resolve disputes between people in our properties and those around them. Everything that is illegal outside CAYSH property is just as illegal inside it and we expect people in and near our accommodation to live within the law.
The safety and wellbeing of people in CAYSH accommodation is paramount, as is making sure they receive support to achieve their ambitions. That’s why we involve young people in designing our services and how they are delivered, as well as recruiting our staff to make sure they’re up to the job. And our staff are not just some of the best trained and technically excellent, they all have plenty of experience in helping young people build lives for themselves that they want.
Our focus on meeting the needs of young people has produced excellent results for our funders and this has enabled us to expand. We combine our own innovation with the best practices of others to achieve top results. We are supported – as well as funded – by the Local Authorities we work with and together we share the aim of helping young people stabilise their lives and get on with living them.
We do this by listening to (and hearing) the needs of the people we work with, by remaining non-judgemental and by talking. We work with young people to produce their Support Plan because we want them to ‘buy in’ to it. Our approach enables the young people we work with to shape the support they receive. We are honest and open about what is and isn’t realistic and our experience is that by doing so we provide the most useful support. We encourage the young people who live in our accommodation to make the most of the expertise and experience of our staff. We explain our ‘duty of care’ to those we work with - which means we need to know for sure that they are OK – and we expect that they will help us meet it.
We hope and expect that everyone who lives in accommodation we manage will want to keep it peaceful and calm. If someone has an issue we expect them to talk about it – to their Supported Housing Officer or their Team Leader, or to somebody at CAYSH’s head office. We certainly don’t expect threatening or violent behaviour – this is a ‘one-strike-and-out’ event at the very least.
Safety and security
The safety and security of people staying in our accommodation is our top concern. We expect people to consider not just their own safety and security, but that of others living there. Consideration of the others (and expecting their consideration back) is a basic independent-living skill. Some people we work with will have had bad experiences because of drink or drugs, for example, taken either by themselves or by others around them. This is one of the reasons both are banned from our accommodation. If somebody living with us feels unsafe in anyway this is not acceptable and we encourage them to talk to a member of staff – or if it’s serious to call the police.
In addition to regular visits from Supported Housing Officers during the day, Concierge staff visit regularly through the night to make sure everybody is safe. The work Concierge staff do benefits not just those who live in our Supported Housing accommodation, it also helps to ensure that those who live nearby are aware that our residents are safe.
Part of the community
All Supported Housing is based in residential areas. We make every effort to engage with neighbours and the wider community so that what’s happening is seen as a positive element of the community – and we encourage everyone to play their part in this. Our staff introduce themselves to the neighbours to build bridges and engage with them for their support.
Once a young person has moved in and we have helped them get some stability, we will start talking about what happens next. They need to determine what this is, not us - otherwise it won’t work out. We know that all sorts of barriers exist as a result of having been homeless. To help overcome these we provide a range of things. Some of these provide genuinely useful work experience, maybe leading to an apprenticeship, and some are for fun (unless you turn out to be a truly gifted sports person that is - one QPR goalkeeper to date). Wherever young people want to go next – to work, or back to college or off to university – we will help them plan to achieve this however we can.
Most young people we meet have had their education affected and we will do all that we can to help overcome barriers that arise as a result of homelessness. This could be helping a return to education in a different way that better meets their needs, or new training in areas that match their ambitions, or work placements and volunteering that might lead to apprenticeships or employment. Our Traineeship Scheme is limited in terms of numbers but offers a route into work and qualifications.
CAYSH works with young people in London, helping them to rebuild their lives after homelessness. We work with Local Authorities, managing “Supported Housing “ contracts for them and making sure its about more than just a ‘roof over your head’. We are a registered charity based in London. Our aim is that every young person is safely housed and has a chance to build the future they want. We began in Croydon in 1981 and today we house 250 young people and advise 2500+ young people and their families each year, working in most London boroughs.