Z House will be an effective pathway to support, employment and education run by Caring in Bristol in Kingswood. Z House will be an overnight accommodation space offering sanctuary, respite and relational care to young people aged 18-25.
Together, we can help young people make a transformational change in their lives.
Youth homelessness has risen sharply amidst Covid-19. The charity Centrepoint – who support young people aged 16- 24 who are facing homelessness saw a 36% increase in people seeking help since the beginning of the pandemic. ¹
Young people are already three times more likely to be in insecure employment than adults, and young people’s economic insecurity has been exacerbated by the crisis. One third of 18-24 year-olds (excluding students) have lost jobs or been furloughed as a result of the pandemic. At its peak, youth unemployment was almost twice its pre-pandemic level ² and here in the South West, the amount of young people claiming benefits has increased 130% from February 2020-February 2021. ₃
Family breakdown, which is a key driver of youth homelessness has also increased as lockdown restrictions deepened existing tensions or placed young people at heightened risk of abuse. ⁴
The private rented sector is increasingly unaffordable for young people earning low or minimum wages, with Bristol ranking amongst the most difficult cities for young people to rent in. ⁵
A lack of social housing means that those unable to afford private rent have few options – Bristol City Council’s own website states that:
“It’s very unlikely that you’ll be offered a council property because the waiting list is very long. Even people with the greatest need often wait several years before they get a council property.”
We know that more young people are being turned away with no support around accommodation than ever before, and with a difficult Winter looming it is imperative that we do all we can to stop them from facing the terrifying prospect of a night on the streets.
What we’re doing to respond
To combat this crisis, we are opening Z House: a dedicated overnight accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness.
Z House consists of four individual bedrooms plus a communal space with cooking facilities.
Guests will be supported throughout their stay by trained staff and volunteers, and will receive wraparound support to help move them develop the skills they need to become independent. They will also be helped to find a sustainable move-on option which gives them the stability they deserve to flourish.
Throughout August, we will be holding a series of consultations both online and in person. These will be an opportunity for anyone who wants to to meet the Caring in Bristol team, ask questions, and find out how you can get involved.