Reducing the impact of homelessness and social exclusion  

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The Dispersed Foyer

Philip, Dispersed Foyer tenant

Philip, Dispersed Foyer tenant
In 1997 we set up the Grenfell Foyer which is accredited by the Foyer Federation. Foyers integrate safe and secure housing with learning and other activities which help young people to develop and achieve their aspirations.

Our partnership with the Foyer Federation is at the core of the services we provide for young people, who come to us for a platform from which to launch their transition to independence.

Traditionally, Foyers have been large hostels but young people can find these isolating and leaving them feeling institutionalized. We piloted an alternative ‘dispersed foyer’ which provides the same integrated approach to meeting their needs but in shared houses rather than hostels. The pilot was a success, delivering similar and in some cases improved outcomes over the traditional single building model.

We start with a discussion about their aspirations, we put together a plan of action tailored to what the young person wants to achieve. We encourage them to identify how things such as accommodation, education and training, physical and mental health and wellbeing can help them to achieve their goals.

Central to the support we offer is a 'something-for-something deal’ that encourages young people to grasp the opportunities available to them and to contribute something to their community in return. Being at the heart of this deal, the person acquires the skills and confidence to shape an independent future.

We have shared houses in Merton, Kingston and Wandsworth. These houses were initially empty and in a state of disrepair. We redeveloped them to bring them up to habitable standard and returned them to use for social housing.

We run 14 properties under the Foyer programme.