Since July 2016, through its work on the streets, in prisons & YOIs, hospitals and courts, New Horizon has worked with a total of 170 young people identifying themselves as Irish or of Irish descent. It has provided access into accommodation, support with benefits, counselling and primary health care, 1:1 key working etc. It worked with each individual, supporting them to move on in their young lives.
Laura is a 19 year old Irish woman living in London.
She was brought up by her mother until she was 16 when Laura attempted suicide and ran away from home. She was taken into care by her local council at this time and she was in and out of psychiatric institutions until she turned 18 and did not have any long term placements with any families during this time. When Laura turned 18 she was first put in a low support youth hostel but was again sectioned after only a few months. She lost her place in the hostel and ended up sofa surfing, riding night buses and sleeping rough on the streets. She was referred by another housing agency to the Irish Youth Project in January 2017 and after a couple of weeks we managed to get her into a winter night shelter. Laura works part-time doing odd jobs like house cleaning, bar work and factory work for an agency. She is working with our Employment, Education and Training team about applying for more permanent work that would give her a stable wage to afford private rented property. Laura has also been attending our counselling service and we have managed to get her engaged with a psychiatric service (The Brandon Centre) for young people who have been helping her deal with her mental health issues. Laura is involved in several positive activities at New Horizon Youth Centre which have developed her social skills and confidence.