Following a surge in demand for rooms from homeless and vulnerable young people, YMCA Norfolk has opened a major extension to its community house in King’s Lynn in a £270,000 project, providing room for six more residents and extra facilities.
The extension was opened by Lord Mayor of King’s Lynn, Councillor David Whitby and YMCA Norfolk chief executive, Tim Sweeting, on January 19, and includes six new bedrooms, 2 new shower rooms and a new kitchen.
Tim said: “We have seen an increase in the need for our services across the county. Our accommodation in Woolstencroft Avenue in King’s Lynn has seen a 50% surge in applications in just the last six months from vulnerable young people needing a safe home in the area.
“The property previously housed nine young people each night who would otherwise be homeless or at risk of homelessness. The extension means that an additional six young people can be housed.
“The development has also created a dedicated community space so that all 15 residents can participate in a wide range of self-development opportunities enabling them to develop life skills, engage in training, education and find employment.
“On average, we currently have around one successful move-on per month in King’s Lynn meaning that we anticipate being able to now support around 20 young people each year, so they do not have to face the fear and misery of living in an unsafe environment or on the streets.
This is the first step in a wider plan to offer more housing and development opportunities for young people and families in Lynn so they can reach their full potential.”
The new accommodation and facilities have been made possible by generous grants from the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.