The recent lockdown, caused by Coronavirus, has seen the media focus on older people and the problems they have faced with isolation and loneliness. How young people in temporary accommodation have been coping has been largely ignored however.
Sheffield Foyer is a specialised supported housing scheme run by Guinness Care, which also works with many older people across the country. The Foyer provides accommodation, training and support to young homeless people, aged 17-25, to enable them to live independently and safely, and help them eventually move on to their own tenancies and into employment.
Residents of Sheffield Foyer share how they have been feeling, and what challenges they have experienced, during these difficult times.
Hayat, aged 22, who has been at the Foyer for 21 months said: “I feel like people are talking to the older people, families, those with houses and jobs, but they’re forgetting about those that are in accommodation like the Foyer, and I feel like we’re not getting enough information to know what the future holds.”
Rachel, aged 21, who has been at the Foyer for 14 months and said: “At the beginning of lockdown I did feel quite safe as we had staff around us, and people to talk to us if we needed anything, but everywhere was empty and I felt a bit lonely on the planet. Now we’re easing out of it, it’s a lot better as I missed my mum, and being around family.”
Samantha Mobbs, Sheffield Foyer Manager said: “Although the Sheffield Foyer has been open during the lockdown it hasn’t quite been business as usual.
“There have been restrictions on communal areas and group activities, changes to visiting rules, and restrictions on when you can go out and who with. It’s been very challenging, but for young single people in supported accommodation it can also be a lonely and scary time.
“However, the young people at the Sheffield Foyer have done marvellously well in keeping themselves and others safe by sticking to all the government guidelines, and they have been using what technology they have to keep in touch with family and friends.
“Some have been working through lockdown at care homes and supermarkets and others have been keeping themselves busy with puzzles and quizzes put on by the Foyer staff team. Many have been taking the opportunity to complete their in-house life-skills training and have proved that they are ready for independent living.
“I am very proud of how the young people at the Foyer have conducted themselves during these difficult times.”