New look and new beds for The Foyer

Supported housing unit ‘The Foyer on the Island’ has opened up three more spaces to help those in need of emergency accommodation, as well as undergoing a major facelift.

All communal areas in the 45-bed hostel - which provides a home for young people at risk of homelessness – have been spruced up and re-arranged, following feedback from residents living in the accommodation.

The young people living at The Foyer told Sovereign that they wanted more friendly spaces to work and meet in, as well as a more homely feel to the whole building. A £45,000 investment was made by Sovereign in new furniture, decoration and fittings to try and meet their residents’ expectations.

Chloe, 18, has lived at the Foyer for 14 months. She said: “Having a home at The Foyer has made me feel more confident and self-aware. It’s opened my eyes to how things could be, and helped me realise I can live on my own.”

In addition, three further spaces at the scheme in Ryde have been made available for young people who find themselves homeless in sudden and unexpected circumstances. One space, which was opened up during Severe Weather Emergency Protocol last year has been continued on a permanent basis, with a two further rooms also being made available. 

Sovereign also provides a welcome pack containing essential items like toiletries and food supplies, as young people coming to The Foyer may arrive with very little after sleeping rough or sofa-surfing.

Steph Wood, Head of Supported Housing for Sovereign, said: 

“We want the Foyer to be a home from home for young people aged 16-25 who find themselves at risk of becoming homeless. Taking our lead from the young people who live here, we made some changes to the way our shared spaces look, making them brighter and more welcoming, rather than bays of computers and desks.

“By opening up these new spaces we’re also helping young homeless people on the Island to stay close to their support networks, rather than having to travel to emergency accommodation on the mainland. These guests will be referred to us via local housing teams and will be able to stay while long-term solutions are found.”

Jamie Brenchley IOW Council Service Manager for Housing Needs and Homelessness, said: 

“We know the longer someone experiences rough sleeping for, the more likely it is they will develop additional mental and physical health needs, substance misuse issues and have contact with the criminal justice system. Therefore, the addition of emergency beds at The Foyer is a really exciting development and helps provide an alternative intervention for people aged 16-25 without a place to call home. 

“This ‘accommodation first’ model, supported by the MHCLG RSI fund, allows us, in partnership with The Foyer, to provide a timely solution to allow people to move away from the streets.”