The Crash Pad Shelter is the only youth shelter for 18 to 23 year old young people. It opens on the 1st December each winter, and the project runs 7 days a week till the 1st May the following year.
The Crash Pad offers young people in crisis and at risk; a safe, friendly and family orientated place that they could come and rest.
They get a bed with clean bedding, dinner and breakfast, hot washes and someone to listen to them throughout the night.
They get a structure and routine into their lives while they considered their futures.
Referrals were open to all London Boroughs Services including Statutory Youth Services (Inc. Social Services, YOT, Probation, Prison Services, Children’s Services Metropolitan Police and BTP, Youth Charities, Legal Charities, General Public and to young people themselves.
During 2016 we received 346 calls and referrals. 89 of these referrals were lucky enough to access the Shelter. People leaving care, family breakdown, pregnancy, relationship breakdowns, rough sleeping and runaways were referred.
The Crash Pad delivers a safe homely environment to young people. The team undertakes to train and educate the young people on budgeting, financial planning, tenants’ rights and tenancy law; by having the Every Child Matters and Positive for Youth at the core of what we do;
We ran workshops on how to remain safe and warm while living on a limited budget of £57.90 per week or less.
We opened the first shelter in 2010, to date 1,017 young people have come through our doors and have moved to a better future.
Roy's Story: A young male who’s mother due to her own mental health needs could not care for him was placed in and out of care and foster homes for 16 years. Upon leaving care he was given a 1 bedroom flat in Islington when he turned 18.
He struggled to maintain himself and the flat. He started a relationship with another care leaver who a year later gave birth to a boy. He continued struggling between benefits and unskilled labour trying to help and raise the baby. 3 years later was evicted due to rent arrears and service charge arrears mounting to over £ 4,700.00.
He was evicted and ended up homeless staying with friends until he ran out of favours and then he was rough sleeping in the parks. He was homeless, frightened of gang retribution and in a depressed state for over 3 weeks, when the police found him at Finsbury Park Station crying and threatening to hurt himself. The Police brought him straight to the shelter.
During his time at the shelter he was met assessed and was given warm clothing, budgeting and financial management support, he learnt to cook 7 healthy and economical meals, he attended life skills classes and was eager to learn.
The team advocated with him and Islington Council and were able to reduce the arrears and agreed a payment plan to repay his arrears. He was accepted onto an apprenticeship with Sports for All and entered their training programme. He was referred to Vision Housing and was offered a flat with support.
The team supported him to shop around for best value utilities and set up simple payment plans that would allow him to maximise is low income. He was also accepted for discretionary Housing benefit and Council Tax relief.
Due to the Shelter, Roy has been given an opportunity to stabilise himself and look to a brighter future. He was able to learn life skills and showed great ability in sustaining himself. His benefits were maximised and he is on a training programme with a brighter future.
He has attended mediation sessions and he recently saw his son for the first time in 2 years.
As well as the shelter a team of trainers delivered the following workshops in the Community: ·
Winter health awareness – Flu and Colds
Financial Planning and Budgeting incl: setting up utilities and shopping for the best offers.
Tenancy and Tenant rights – Understanding the different tenanices and the tenants rights under each of these contracts.
DJ and Music Worships (incl: Piano and guitar lessons).
Life skills workshops run weekly including grooming, healthy eating, cooking, cleaning etc.
Cooking classes run daily. · House keeping and cleaning tasking and responsibilities run daily.
Art Classes · Painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, carving, ceramics and graphics.
Creative Writing classes run weekly.
Gaming - designing games.
“Gift in a Bag” – All young people leaving to access independent housing left with a set of warm sheets, duvet and pillow slips, towels, 13 tog duvet, winter coat, plates, mugs and cutleys set and etc.
Keep fit – Boxing, gym, Myai Thai, football, table tennis, etc run weekly.
Outings - Theatre, Opera, Cinema, Theme parks, Oxford St Xmas Lights, Winter Wonder Land, Ice Skating, day trips to seaside and swimming.