We are excited to announce plans for a ground-breaking Supported Housing Pathway, securing stable accommodation for the young people of Torbay. The plans, to be delivered in partnership with YMCA Exeter and YMCA South Devon, will see 36 homes established for young people at risk of or facing homelessness.  

We are delighted that this new initiative has been made possible following a successful funding application to the Homes England Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP). The funding award amounts to £4.1million over the next four years.  

The new Supported Housing Pathway will provide a comprehensive support system for young individuals in Torbay facing challenges in securing stable housing. Our strategic partnership with YMCA Exeter and YMCA South Devon will work to address the pressing and growing issue of homelessness among young people by offering a holistic approach that encompasses housing, support services, and community integration, with a large focus on Employment, Meaningful Occupation, Training and Education (EMOTE). 

Cllr David Thomas, Leader of Torbay Council, said: "We are delighted to announce this new chapter in supported housing provision in Torbay.

"Working in partnership with YMCA Exeter and YMCA South Devon will allow us to share expertise and deliver an enhanced service to our local communities including young people in need of support."

The Homes England SHAP programme focuses on creating new and affordable housing solutions. The funding will provide the strategic partnership with the opportunity to provide a safe and supportive environment for local young people in need.

YMCA Exeter works alongside young people until they are ready to manage their own tenancy, integrate into their local community positively and engage in meaningful employment. Young people, like Dan.  

Seven years ago, Suffolk-born Dan Flack was homeless on the streets of Exeter – sleeping in bus stops and under shop doors. At the lowest point, Dan was directed to YMCA Exeter and since then he hasn’t looked back. Today, Dan is the proud owner of his own house just over the Cornish border. 

“I’d be dead without YMCA Exeter,” Dan admits. “When I became homeless, I lost confidence in myself, I didn’t look after myself, I didn’t talk to anyone. I just shut myself down. I owe everything to YMCA Exeter. If YMCA Exeter didn’t come in at that time, I wouldn’t be here.” 

There is an acute need for supported housing provision in Torbay. The new plans will create housing provision with onsite 24-hour staffing for young people with medium to high support needs, plus options for transitioning into supported housing when a young person is ready to live with a lower level of support.  

Gareth Sorsby, Joint CEO of YMCA Exeter, said: "We are thrilled to unveil this collaborative effort that will positively impact the lives of young people in Torbay.

"The Homes England SHAP programme has played a pivotal role in making this vision a reality, providing crucial funding enabling us to establish a robust Supported Housing Pathway which will provide 36 new homes, and empower young individuals from Torbay to overcome housing challenges." 

Maria Goodwin, CEO of YMCA South Devon, said: "The delivery of our Nightstop service has made us very aware of the need in Torbay for suitable accommodation with good quality wrap around support.

"We are delighted to be involved in this collaboration, which will make such a difference for our young people."

For more information on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP), including cycle 5 funding award levels, visit the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme website.

About YMCA Exeter: YMCA Exeter is one of the oldest YMCAs in the world, founded in 1846. Part of the worldwide YMCA movement, YMCA Exeter is a local charity and a Registered Provider of Social Housing working across Greater Exeter and North Devon. The charity provides services in Supported Accommodation, Offender Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Youth Services so that all young people can thrive in body, mind and spirit. For more information, visit www.ymcaexeter.org.uk.

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