Leaving Youth Homelessness – Joe’s Story

Youth Homelessness

SSJ run a specialist Youth Homelessness hostel in Portsmouth. At All Saints, we can support up to 22 young people (under the age of 25) at any one time. Very often, the young people moving in to All Saints have lived extremely chaotic lives and so we aim to provide these vulnerable young people with a safe space to call home.  By providing safe and secure housing we enable them to take the first steps to change their lives, stop them entering a cycle of homelessness and reduce the devastating impact that long-term homelessness, at such a young age, can have.

At All Saints, young people enter into a life-skills programme, which has been specifically developed by staff in the local area to fulfil the various needs of this vulnerable group.  These life-skills courses range from practical learning lessons, such as gaining skills around budgeting and cooking, to skills that help them keep themselves and others safe, such as First Aid and Fire Safety. We also encourage our young people to access employment and education based courses and schemes, wherever possible.  Alongside qualifications, these courses can be so beneficial in helping young people gain the confidence and self-esteem they lack, to tackle moving on from homelessness and benefits and into employment and/or education.

Joe’s Story

Joe came to All Saints not long after his 19th birthday in mid-December 2014 and quickly embraced all the opportunities available to him to make a difference to his life.

Youth homelessnessStaff helped Joe access employment and he undertook a year-long apprenticeship at a local museum in Portsmouth; gaining useful and necessary skills for future employment. In his spare time he joined in with hostel activities with other residents, such as the Eclipse Party and Fiesta Night. He even went jet-skiing on the Isle of Wight, with a friend and fellow resident from All Saints.

Joe completed numerous life-skills courses and now has knowledge in budgeting and safety- all of which will be extremely useful for him now that he has moved on from All Saints and youth homelessness and into his own independent tenancy with Portsmouth City Council. This is the first time Joe has had a home of his own and the skills he’s gained at All Saints will be key to him maintaining his tenancy.

He is being supported to decorate and furnish his new place and we are really pleased to report that he was also successful in gaining employment with Portsmouth City Council, undertaking key maintenance work to preserve the sea front.  Joe said:

I found the support very useful and staff were encouraging me to be independent. It also helps me look after my flat now

We are so proud of Joe and all his achievements and enjoy catching up with him when he pops in to tell us how he’s doing (and how much he misses hostel life!).  He took all the opportunities made available to him and now he has full-time employment and a home he can call his own. Something just a year ago, he didn’t think was possible.


If you would like to help SSJ support more young people like Joe to leave youth homelessness behind, then please consider making a donation today and your gift could help us provide valuable life-skills lessons and opportunities for more local, vulnerable young people.

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