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Vulnerable Ilford youths scared of being left ‘abandoned’ and ‘homeless’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:05 03 May 2016

Charlie Roberts, Lavonn Grant with baby Navaeh and Chloe Osborne with babies Bobby and Skye at the foyer

Charlie Roberts, Lavonn Grant with baby Navaeh and Chloe Osborne with babies Bobby and Skye at the foyer

Archant

Vulnerable young people – who will soon be kicked of their supported housing – have accused the authorities of “abandoning” them.

At the start of April the Recorder revealed that Redbridge Foyer, which provides supported living for homeless youths, is to close in July.

Residents said they were “scared” and complained they received little help from Redbridge Council and East Thames Group, who run the centre in Sylvan Road, Ilford.

In a joint statement the pair said they would “do all they can to assist households we don’t have a duty to house”.

But vulnerable youths living in the Foyer dismissed this, and explained there is an atmosphere of fear, anger and panic amongst the residents.

Lavonn Grant, 20, said: “We are getting no help at all and the staff are just making it worse.”

She is hoping to find accommodation with her one-year-old daughter Nevaeh.

Charlie Roberts said: “It seems we are all going to be put on the street.

“There are still 40 people here who have no idea what’s going on.”

The 21-year-old, who suffers from mental health issues, said the situation was making her “feel crazy”.

“Don’t they understand this is about our lives,” she added.

An East Thames spokeswoman told the Recorder they were increasing the frequency of property search sessions to daily.

She explained: “Support workers help residents to complete applications and make bids, and distribute information about newly available properties.”

She added some people would be housed by the local authority, but “unfortunately, the properties available are limited”.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work with East Thames ... in identifying housing solutions for those living there.”

She added a majority of residents had been interviewed by the council’s housing advice team and several had been given “direct assistance ... due to their vulnerability”.


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