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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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£500k bid to help homeless Cumbria teenagers

HALF-A-MILLION pounds is due to be injected into the county help fight homelessness among teenagers.

HALF-A-MILLION pounds is due to be injected into Cumbria to help fight homelessness among teenagers.

Members of Cumbria County Council’s cabinet will be asked to back proposals to create a new centre in Barrow to provide temporary accommodation for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Across the county, £500,000 will be spent on tackling the issue.

So far this year Cumbria County Council has put eight teens in to bed and breakfasts due to a shortage of places and it is believed providing emergency accommodation could cost up to £21,000 this year alone.

In Barrow a new centre could be created alongside a project with Barrow Borough Council which would see further accommodation for vulnerable youngsters in the town.

A report set to go before the committee on Thursday said: “Cumbria is working to develop alternative provision to bed and breakfast accommodation for young homeless people including funding provided to the development of the Whitehaven Foyer and the potential development of a Foyer in Barrow.”

The Foyer will provide support for youngsters along with a two bedroom apartment, the report said Barrow Borough Council is working with Cumbria County Council to create further emergency accommodation.

The proposals hope to wipe out disputes between district councils and Cumbria County Council to ensure teenagers outside the care home bracket do receive support needed, and councillors have been urged to support the action.

The report added: “Failure to deliver on this recommendation, albeit that it is relevant to only a small number of young people, will mean there are very vulnerable young people who are not being safeguarded at a very significant point in their life, ie being homeless, and the directorate will be failing in their duty towards this group of young people.”

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