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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Barrow is ‘one of the worst’ for homeless teens

A NEW centre for homeless teenagers could open in Furness.

Barrow has one of the worst records for young people aged 16 to 18 years old without permanent accommodation in Cumbria, county council bosses claimed yesterday.

Now a search is under way to find land or a building that can be converted into supervised care flats with social facilities on site.

Barrow resident Councillor Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council’s children’s services champion, said it was a crucial and long-awaited move.

“There is already a foyer in Kendal providing this type of accommodation which is extremely successful.

“But we have a real need for this in Barrow and in Copeland where there is a concentration of 16 to 18-year-olds who have nowhere to stay.”

At their meeting at County Hall in Kendal, members of Cumbria County Council’s cabinet committee heard there are currently eight teenagers living in bed and breakfasts in Barrow at a cost to the taxpayer of £21,000 each per year.

The authority has set aside £500,000 to help fund a permanent facility as well as to provide interim emergency living quarters for young people in the area.

And Impact Housing has appointed a foyer development manager to propel delivery of the scheme forward in the town.

Shorter term measures currently being investigated include using a two-bedroom flat owned by CCC above the Centenary Day Care Centre in Abbey Road as shared lodgings.

Discussions are also taking place with Barrow Borough Council to find a suitable two-bedroom flat in the town centre to be used as temporary “move on” accommodation for those in need.

Cllr Burns explained teenagers aged 16 and 17 who find themselves without a home are classed as vulnerable children who cannot be housed by the borough council until they reach their 18th birthday.

“We need to provide for these young, vulnerable people who present themselves as homeless to housing officers but can’t be housed until they reach 18.

“There are 14 flats in Kendal which are always full.

“We may need a similar amount in Barrow in addition to what we already have to give these people support so they are not left dumped in the community.”

Have your say

Anne Burns spending £400 a week on bed and breakfasts for homeless teens. But we cannot afford to keep firemen. Im sure bed and breakfasts cost less than £25 per night ? Another reason why these council should not be voted back in.

Posted by Andy on 3 March 2014 at 08:24

Egerton Court anyone? Get it refitted, let em live there. No need for it to be a run down mess any more.

Posted by Matt on 3 March 2014 at 05:38

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