Velos Youth’s Housing Integration Project supports young people to build lives integrated within Greek Society. The project complements the Velos Youth holistic model and benefits young people already accessing other Velos Youth services. Through the program young people are supported by a range of local professionals to find work, organise their finances and subsequently source stable private accommodation.
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.
The housing integration project was therefore designed with the following two core objectives in mind:
INTEGRATION & INCLUSION
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 also provides an immediate community in which the young residents develop relationships and provide peer support based on common goals.
AUTONOMY & LIVELIHOODS
Young people are supported 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 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.