Housing Integration Project
The Housing Integration Project will be an
expansion of the current Velos Youth holistic model.
We have identified that housing is a natural extension of the current work, as Velos Youth currently provides the ‘wrap-around services’ on which housing projects rely to be successful and to give participants the best chance of obtaining autonomy.
Since 2017, Velos Youth has witnessed that the biggest challenge facing a young person’s integration into their new society, and their progress towards autonomy, is accessing secure housing.
The reasons for this are three-fold:
- To engage in any bureaucratic process, youth must provide an address. For progress to take place within these overly complicated processes they must often need to be reachable at that address. This applies for obtaining a tax number, social security number, asylum, cash assistance, applying for a job, or going to school.
- Young people need stability and safety to successfully create productive routines in their lives, particularly regarding education or obtaining and holding down a job.
- Secure housing is a fundamental prerequisite to community as individuals cannot feel part of society if they do not have a place to call home. Shared accommodation also creates opportunity for immediate community in which those who live together develop bonds and relationships through shared goals, motivating and supporting each other as they move collectively towards autonomy.
Based on the needs identified thus far, the provision of housing to young people would have the following core objectives:
INTEGRATION & INCLUSION
We will be better able to support young people to restart and rebuild their lives in Athens. Through secure accommodation and a fixed address, young people will start to feel and become part of the wider community they have previously struggled to access. Accommodation will also provide a place for young people to begin to develop their community, developing relationships and providing peer support based on common goals. With the Velos Youth drop-in space temporarily closed, this is more important than ever.
Autonomy & Livelihoods
We aim to support young people to achieve autonomy both through the life skills developed from maintaining an accommodation and fully taking care of one’s own needs (cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc.), and through obtaining and retaining employment. To achieve this, young people will receive regular 1:1 support, including professional employability advice and guidance. The overarching objective is to enable young people to leave the house and find their own private and secure accommodation.