Being homeless or at risk of homelessness whether you are 16 or 17 is something that we take very seriously. If you’re in this situation, help and guidance is on hand. We will support you and provide you with the information required to make an informed decision that best suits you.

Getting support

There are a few different teams you can contact for help:

  • Multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH): 023 9268 8793
  • Housing needs advice and support team: 023 9283 4989
  • About ME advocacy team: 07920 089430 or email advocacy@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

How will you help me?

We can help and support you by working out how and why you find yourself in this situation and undertake a personal assessment of your need.

Our aim is to help by establishing your:

  • Circumstances
  • Eligibility
  • Priority of need
  • Personal safety and wellbeing

We’ll provide written advice and assistance too, and will work towards an agreed housing plan that will resolve the situation.

What will happen when I ask for support?

When you approach us, we’ll gather information about you and your situation and ensure you have somewhere safe to stay whilst we begin assessing you.

If you have left a family home, we will consider whether there is an option for you to stay in the family home or not, and look at other options that may be available to you. Some young people in this situation are happy to see if they can stay with a family member or friend while the situation is reviewed.

Some young people may require accommodation on an emergency, short term basis. These situations are often resolved by utilising family and friends, an emergency bed in a young persons’ supported housing setting, or through an emergency foster placement.

However, if attempts to prevent homelessness are exhausted and long-term accommodation is required, then we will assess you to consider supported housing, kinship care, foster care or a children’s home setting.

Advocacy

Support to have your voice heard

About ME Advocacy is an independent advocacy service for children & young people. They offer support to those who require help to have their voice heard on matters that are important to them. Advocacy provides a listening ear and are independent from other professionals.

An advocate can support and empower you. They can provide the opportunity for your views on your situation to be shared in a way in which you want it said. They can advocate on your behalf or support you to be heard if you feel that you are not being taken seriously.

Advocacy can also help you have a voice when decisions are being made about you. You can contact them directly if you would like their support.

Our duty

Portsmouth City Council has a duty and statutory obligation towards 16 and 17 year olds, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

It is our duty to do our all to prevent homelessness and to respond to all 16 and 17 year old young people who approach us. We work in a joined up and consistent way and will ensure you understand all the options that are open to you.

We will discuss the circumstances of your situation with you and through that discussion will establish your eligibility and your priority of need. It is our aim to agree a housing plan that will help you retain or secure available and sustained accommodation and support.

Our homelessness and rough sleeping strategy