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Youth scheme wins prestigious homelessness award for teaching young people about money

A youth homelessness prevention scheme has won a prestigious award for teaching young people how to handle their money.

The Money House, a Woolwich-based project run by the charity MyBnk, scooped first prize at the London Homelessness Awards 2021.

The win comes with a prize of £30,000 which will be used to bring the project to more young people.

The Money House project targets care leavers and vulnerable young adults who are about to move into social housing, teaching them how to best manage their tenancy and finances.

Their work has has contributed to a 64 per cent drop in evictions for users at risk of becoming homeless.

In the UK a third of care leavers lose their first home and 83 per cent of evictions are caused by rent arrears.

The Money House project places young people in a simulated living environment that similar to their new homes but staffed by financial experts and former participants who design and deliver sessions.

The project, which has been providing financial education in Greenwich and the surrounding areas since 2013, has been made a mandatory part of Greenwich council’s youth housing pathway.

Nick Smith-Patel, Head of Young Adult Education, MyBnk, said: “Everyone at MyBnk is thrilled to receive this award.

“This project has so much potential, we’re just scratching the surface – every young Londoner moving into independent living needs this experience.

“When it comes to homelessness, prevention is always cheaper than the cure and this award recognises the power of just-in-time intervention to stop a young person from becoming another bad statistic.

“We’ll be putting much of the award fund into meeting the needs of unaccompanied asylum seekers – a growing cohort.”

Ian Brady, of London Housing Foundation, who chaired the judging panel for this year’s awards said: “Once again we had extremely good high quality applicants.

“So much so that for the first time in our 21 year history, the judges awarded four financial prizes instead of the usual three.

“We are proud to be able to support MyBnk and the other five shortlisted projects.

“They show that the homelessness sector in London is full of innovative, creative projects doing their best for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“We hope that these awards, and the £80,000, helps them go from strength to strength.”

The Money House takes free open referrals for 16-25 year olds to attend the one week course.

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