Youth homelessness - Services available through Positive Housing Pathway

We have three Youth Homeless and Housing Officers, each covering two districts.  The Youth Homeless and Housing Officers will:

  • be the first point of contact for all referrals into the Positive Housing Pathway
  • offer advice and information to young people and their parents/carers
  • work alongside Social Workers/Pathways Advisers on an advice and guidance basis where a young person who is open to them is experiencing homelessness
  • work with young people who are threatened with homelessness to explore their options and find an outcome that works for them
  • provide additional support to young people living independently where needed.

Youth Homeless and Housing Officers

Emergency temporary accommodation for young people in Cumbria is part of the Positive Housing Pathway and is provided by Nightstop.  Nighstop is a service providing free, safe and secure emergency accommodation for homeless young people aged 16plus.  

Nightstop places young people who have nowhere to stay in trained volunteers' spare rooms.  Young people received a private room, a warm meal and somewhere safe to stay for the night, whilst we assess their needs and explore a more permanent solution.  

Nightstop contacts

Supported accommodation is commissioned for young people aged 16 to 24 years, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, however priority will be given to:

  • Young people for whom the Council has a statutory duty (16 to 17 year olds at risk of homelessness)
  • Young people for whom the Council has a statutory duty (formerly looked after children);
  • Young people aged under 18 leaving custody.

Through the Gateway Group, young people will be allocated to services based on a discussion of their individual needs and the availability of a service to meet that need.

From 1 April 2020, we have the following supported accommodation units:

Carlisle  -  13

Eden  -  5

S Lakes  - 10

West  -  15

Barrow  -  14

Since 1 April 2020, we have had a flexible support offer, in addition to the specialist support offered by the Youth Homelessness and Housing Officers. The Housing Intervention Support Workers (HISW) operate alongside the Youth Homelessness and Housing Officers and offer tenure neutral flexible support to young people.  

This means that for older young people (18yrs plus), who may not wish to live in supported accommodation or who are moving out of supported accommodation, we will work with our district partners to look at alternative housing solutions. This includes Cumbria Choice and the private rented sector, with support attached to the young person to give them the best chance of succeeding in their chosen tenancy.  

Flexible support is allocated via discussions at the Gateway Group, and can be used to offer additional support to a young person in supported accommodation, based on their unmet needs. The HISW's can support you to access other relevant services and support networks such as:

  • employability
  • education and training
  • mental health services
  • benefits and tenancy assistance 

The HISWs are able to offer an essential household starter kit which includes Hug in a Bag, Heat and Eat pack and a personal care wash bag.  The HISW's can also support young people to complete funding applications for essential household items and access eligible grants if required.