History of KYHP

KYHP has been working with young people in Kingwood and the surrounding area for 25 years. Formerly Kingswood Young Homeless Project, KYHP is a limited company with charitable status. It was formed in 1986 and has operated the Park View hostel in Kingswood, Bristol since 1987. The 8 bed hostel has continued to provide housing for young homeless people ever since.

Since 1992 KYHP have worked with Redland Housing Association, establishing the referral agency in the office at 71 High St. This started as a supported lodging scheme and but now exists as a referral service providing advice, emotional support to young homeless people. This service sees over 100 people a year with diverse needs. The young people coming to us often talk of stress, depression and anxiety and have often been offered medication or treatment; in 2010-11, 70% of young people who came to the project had some level of mental health need. It appears that emotional welfare is a key issue for young homeless people.

KYHP also meets the diverse needs of the community and 17.5% of our clients are black or minority ethnic. Drug and alcohol use are issues which often come up for our clients, 19% reported this as an issue last year. Most sadly, violence within the household is a major cause of homeless, affecting 21% of those who came to our agency last year.

Our annual report 1993 stated, "We have monitored a growing nu
mber of young people with mental health issues being referred to KYHP although we do not offer specialist support." This recognition led to the setting up of Scholfield house as a block of flats for young people with mental health needs. In 2007 KYHP worked with the supporting people team to set up a new floating support project for young people with mental health needs. This project carries on to this day and provides housing related support to young people across South Gloucester. It is a great success and has been used as a benchmark project by the department of Communities and Local Government.

From its inception K
YHP has housed or advice care leavers trying to find housing and get support. Each year about a quarter of the young people we see are care leavers (23% in 2010-11). In 2005 working with the Children's Department of South Glos Council and Redland housing, we set up a training flat for care leavers. The purpose of this flat was, and is, to prepare young people for living independently. In the flat we provide training in cooking, cleaning and budgeting, as part of a programme of support, but more importantly we help young people to manage their guests and deal with the loneliness of living alone.  In 2009 we opened a second training flat and in 2010, 13 young people stayed in the Training Flat the training flats. The feedback from young people about this project is very positive.

During this time we have improved our policies and procedures, we now even have computers! We now have service users and former service users on our board, and the last strategy day had 6 young people come and contribute. KYHP positively encourages young people to have a say in what services the project will provide, and how they will be provided. 

The project spans a period during which social housing has been totally transformed, sine the 1080s social housing has reducing from abou
t 30% of the total houses in the country to about 19% today. Society's expectations of young people have also changed with 17yr olds now more likely to be seen as children th
an adults, indeed a homeless 17yr old now has a right to a social worker under the Children's Act 1989. However, while much has changed since 1987, some issues don't go away and homelessness is on the rise again with South Gloucestershire council reporting a large increase in those bidding for accommodation. Private rented accommodation is often to expensive for young people and home ownership is almost impossible without financial support from the family.