Ideally, we would all stand on our own two feet, but that’s not possible for some who need help to do so.
One example of this is the supported short-term housing sector.
A major provider of this is the YMCA, which is the world’s largest and oldest youth charity, and helps 58 million people in 119 countries.
Here, it provides thousands of beds for young people who cannot yet live independently for various reasons. They include the homeless, vulnerable, ex-offenders, or those with young children.
It has alerted me to a government review of funding for this sector. It says the proposals could endanger the long-term security and certainty of the funding, clash with the social security system, and obstruct the transition to independent living.
The key change is transferring funding for short-term supported housing from national to local government. The funding is ‘ring-fenced’, or guaranteed, but that could change.
This could undermine stability to providers and 60,000 people could be adversely affected from 2020.
The YMCA’s good work should not be put at risk. It would lead to increased costs for society as too many young people fall through the cracks and end up harming themselves or others.
I accept that no system is perfect, and government should keep it under review. The devil, as always, is in the detail and I am not convinced the government has thought this through. I will be asking questions of the minister.