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YMCA Exeter provides accommodation for young people needing a varying degree of support. Our Stage 1 accommodation is typically the entry point for young people leaving care or coming out of homelessness, needing the support of a loving community to move forward. At Stage 2, those young people take another step towards independent living, no longer requiring the level of supervision of Stage 1.
By the time our residents reach Stage 3, the young people have built up the resilience they need to thrive, and YMCA Exeter can reduce its intervention. By Stage 3 the young people are able to demonstrate that they can succeed in their employment or in the educational studies they are undertaking and have become good tenants. YMCA Exeter support maintains regular contact to ensure that, should they hit any setbacks or start to struggle, we can intervene immediately.
Stage 4 is the next stage beyond this – young people living successfully in their independent accommodation. YMCA Exeter provides opportunities for social activities, educational groups and maintains a healthy ethos and community feel within the block of accommodation. An outreach worker is also on hand to intervene early on if any young person hits a setback or is struggling.
Exeter has a challenging housing crisis. There is limited, affordable one-bed accommodation for local young people. Since August 2019, the housing need has increased by a further 24%, with over 350 local young people waiting for 1-bed accommodation.
Our vision is to support young people to become embedded in their communities. The reality is that many of our young people are ready to move on into independent living, but although they have meaningful occupations they are priced out of traditional rented housing. They have nowhere to go.
We’re tackling this problem by taking an abandoned warehouse in the city centre and converting it into 26 self-contained studio apartments. Each apartment will provide a young person with an affordable home, alongside regular YMCA Exeter activities and groups to be involved in. The project will also have dedicated housing and outreach staff.
The knock-on effect to young people moving on into independent accommodation is that it frees up valuable space in supported accommodation for young people, at risk of homelessness, accessing our services for the first time.