Scarcroft Project helps York teenagers struggling with homelessness

MP speaks to York teenagers struggling with homelessness

Hugh Bayley MP talks to young people involved in the Scarcroft Project

Ella Roberts

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

TEENAGERS in York coping with homelessness have met MP Hugh Bayley at a housing project which aims to get their lives on course.

The Scarcroft Project offers supported accommodation for nine people aged between 16 and 19, as well as helping a further 12 teenagers who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The project, set off Scarcroft Road, aims to help young people who come from difficult backgrounds to prepare for employment and to live independently.

Among those to meet with Mr Bayley, the MP for York Central, was 17-year-old Chloe Bourke.

Chloe lived at Howe Hill hostel in Holgate and most recently The Scarcroft Project and is now taking a course in child care at York College.

She told Mr Bayley she felt she was working to change her life with the help of support workers.

Laura Taylor, 17, said she had lived on the streets for a couple of weeks last winter and was pleased to be staying at The Scarcroft Project.

The York College student said: “I feel like I’m getting my life on track. It’s way better than living on the streets.”

Mr Bayley said: “It’s dreadful that some people become homeless and are left to fend for themselves before they are even out of their teens.

“You wouldn’t want it to happen to your children or any other young people you know.

“The Scarcroft Project is doing a great job helping them.

“If people have nowhere to live and no fixed address they can’t keep clean and tidy and it is impossible for them to find work. “Homelessness leads to a downward spiral and some young people turn to drink and drugs to block things out.

“They need a helping hand to get their lives back on course.

“I am impressed by the efforts being made by the young people I met today and grateful to the staff at the Scarcroft Project.”

The Scarcroft Project, which was launched in 1994 and is run by the Housing Association, has received funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to develop extra services such as helping with literacy and communication and helping the young people prepare for employment.

Case study

EIGHTEEN-year-old Ella Roberts spoke of her frustration that complications with the benefits system meant she felt unable to move on with her life.

She became homeless at 17 and after a spell in Howe Hill Hostel and moved into The Scarcroft Project - accommodation she says she is pleased to have.

She has worked in a number of jobs, including as a carer, but since becoming pregnant has had to leave the work due to health reasons.

However, she said many weeks of delays in adjusting to the rent payments she had to make as an employed and then unemployed tenant had left her hundreds of pounds in rent arrears which needed to be cleared before she could move in with her boyfriend and their baby.

She said she was ineligible for income support until May and had to continue to apply for jobs and attend weekly interviews, despite her “not having a chance” of getting work due to her pregnancy.

Ella said: “It’s good there’s something like this because otherwise you would be on the streets.

“I think it’s depressing when you are struggling. It makes you feel down and depressed but you have to keep with it because that’s your only option.

“There’s a lot of pressure on you. It’s making me angry that I can’t move on even though I’m pregnant.”

Comments (15)

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11:16am Sat 16 Feb 13

Sillybillies says...

There's no money for York teenagers, it's being wasted on -

http://www.yorkpress
.co.uk/news/10233216
.Travellers____site_
funding_anger/
There's no money for York teenagers, it's being wasted on - http://www.yorkpress .co.uk/news/10233216 .Travellers____site_ funding_anger/ Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Sat 16 Feb 13

DorothyD says...

Not sure what you are saying 'sillybillies' - I am pretty sure that the York residents living on York's Travellers' sites include York teenagers amongst their number. They have as much right to council services as the rest of York's citizens.
Not sure what you are saying 'sillybillies' - I am pretty sure that the York residents living on York's Travellers' sites include York teenagers amongst their number. They have as much right to council services as the rest of York's citizens. DorothyD
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Scarlet Pimpernel says...

The Council have £80m to spend on housing. They plan to spend £6m building 50-60 new council houses, and the other £74m doing up existing council houses. Surely given York's housing crising where there are over 4,000 on their waiting list, they should be using more of this funding on building new housing, or do they hope to force private housebuilders to do this by using planning blackmail (S106) ?
The Council have £80m to spend on housing. They plan to spend £6m building 50-60 new council houses, and the other £74m doing up existing council houses. Surely given York's housing crising where there are over 4,000 on their waiting list, they should be using more of this funding on building new housing, or do they hope to force private housebuilders to do this by using planning blackmail (S106) ? Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Score: 0

9:14pm Sat 16 Feb 13

NoMorePlease says...

"There’s a lot of pressure on you. It’s making me angry that I can’t move on even though I’m pregnant"


Says it all. Why get pregnant? Typical of the world owes me a living attitude
"There’s a lot of pressure on you. It’s making me angry that I can’t move on even though I’m pregnant" Says it all. Why get pregnant? Typical of the world owes me a living attitude NoMorePlease
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Sat 16 Feb 13

akaroa says...

Standard practice, leave school, get pregnant,move into council accomadation, no rent, benefits, have a wonderful life. Pass advice on to children how to carry on the tradition.
Standard practice, leave school, get pregnant,move into council accomadation, no rent, benefits, have a wonderful life. Pass advice on to children how to carry on the tradition. akaroa
  • Score: 0

10:11pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Dan595 says...

akaroa wrote:
Standard practice, leave school, get pregnant,move into council accomadation, no rent, benefits, have a wonderful life. Pass advice on to children how to carry on the tradition.
This is disgusting. These people are been made more vulnerable by poor decisions by the current government yet you decide to just blame them and assume the worst. Maybe she wants a family. Maybe she wants a job yet is unable to find one like many individuals. It sickens me that instead of supporting the next generation, we label and victimise them.
[quote][p][bold]akaroa[/bold] wrote: Standard practice, leave school, get pregnant,move into council accomadation, no rent, benefits, have a wonderful life. Pass advice on to children how to carry on the tradition.[/p][/quote]This is disgusting. These people are been made more vulnerable by poor decisions by the current government yet you decide to just blame them and assume the worst. Maybe she wants a family. Maybe she wants a job yet is unable to find one like many individuals. It sickens me that instead of supporting the next generation, we label and victimise them. Dan595
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Sillybillies says...

This is disgusting. These people are been made more vulnerable by poor decisions by the current government yet you decide to just blame them and assume the worst. Maybe she wants a family.

The correct decisions are being made and they don't go far enough. If she wants to breed she can indulge herself when she can afford it without putting out the begging bowl into the faces of tax payers. I wouldn't give them council houses/flats, they should be accommodated in barrack blocks and given food and clothes coupons.
[quote]This is disgusting. These people are been made more vulnerable by poor decisions by the current government yet you decide to just blame them and assume the worst. Maybe she wants a family. [/quote] The correct decisions are being made and they don't go far enough. If she wants to breed she can indulge herself when she can afford it without putting out the begging bowl into the faces of tax payers. I wouldn't give them council houses/flats, they should be accommodated in barrack blocks and given food and clothes coupons. Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Dan595 says...

Sorry what year is this? In a time where more and more people are in need of food banks and benefits, how can it be justified to be against these people for wanting children. We live in the 21st century, if people want children let them, if they need support provide it. Instead of assuming they are on benefits for life, maybe open up new doors and opportunities for them instead of just attacking them.
Sorry what year is this? In a time where more and more people are in need of food banks and benefits, how can it be justified to be against these people for wanting children. We live in the 21st century, if people want children let them, if they need support provide it. Instead of assuming they are on benefits for life, maybe open up new doors and opportunities for them instead of just attacking them. Dan595
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Sun 17 Feb 13

akaroa says...

I have personal experience of this type of situation.
I have personal experience of this type of situation. akaroa
  • Score: 0

10:54pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Dan595 says...

akaroa wrote:
I have personal experience of this type of situation.
That doesn't give you the right to attack people?
[quote][p][bold]akaroa[/bold] wrote: I have personal experience of this type of situation.[/p][/quote]That doesn't give you the right to attack people? Dan595
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Mon 18 Feb 13

meme says...

Moving on involves personal responsibility and its just not right to expect to have kids etc unless you are in a position to afford them. Thats not an attack on anyone Its common sense. People cannot expect to abandon all personal responsibility just because they want something ie children or a house.It involves taking control and personal responsibility and not relying on others to pay for your errors or wants
Moving on involves personal responsibility and its just not right to expect to have kids etc unless you are in a position to afford them. Thats not an attack on anyone Its common sense. People cannot expect to abandon all personal responsibility just because they want something ie children or a house.It involves taking control and personal responsibility and not relying on others to pay for your errors or wants meme
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Dan595 says...

So if they get pregnant they are supposed to go through having an abortion? Which to them may be an awful thought and distressing
So if they get pregnant they are supposed to go through having an abortion? Which to them may be an awful thought and distressing Dan595
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Mon 18 Feb 13

meme says...

but adult responsibility means ensuring you dont get pregnant........... surely?
but adult responsibility means ensuring you dont get pregnant........... surely? meme
  • Score: 0

12:30am Tue 19 Feb 13

akaroa says...

male and femal contraception is readily available for free. why is it not used. these thoughts of irresponsibility are in some cases passed down. pregnancy at an early age can be a means to an end.
male and femal contraception is readily available for free. why is it not used. these thoughts of irresponsibility are in some cases passed down. pregnancy at an early age can be a means to an end. akaroa
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Oncebitten says...

meme wrote:
but adult responsibility means ensuring you dont get pregnant........... surely?
This is an old old issue how many people in previous years have ended up pregnant "out of wedlock"...and their children were forcibly taken put into home and systematically abused for years....
I for one don't think we need these good old days again.

Support education and help is what these people need, not constant criticism by people who's lives must be boringly whiter than white!
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: but adult responsibility means ensuring you dont get pregnant........... surely?[/p][/quote]This is an old old issue how many people in previous years have ended up pregnant "out of wedlock"...and their children were forcibly taken put into home and systematically abused for years.... I for one don't think we need these good old days again. Support education and help is what these people need, not constant criticism by people who's lives must be boringly whiter than white! Oncebitten
  • Score: 0

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