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Hostels and foyers

Some hostels offers housing support to people who need some help to adapt to living independently. Foyers are a special kind of hostel offering support for young people.

What kind of support can hostels offer?

Many hostels which offer long term accommodation also provide support to residents to help them move out of hostel accommodation and into their own homes. This support can take the form of:

  • counselling and advice
  • support in developing independent living skills such as budgeting or cooking
  • help claiming benefits
  • help accessing education, employment or training
  • help finding permanent accommodation
  • additional support once you have moved into a new tenancy.

Some hostels also offer move on accommodation in 'satellite flats'. These are shared or individual flats where you can live independently, but still receive help and advice from a support worker.

How do I apply?

Longer term hostels usually have waiting lists or will only accept referrals from certain agencies, such as a housing aid centre of the council's social work department. They are often for specific groups of people, for example young homeless people or people with particular problems such as mental illness or alcohol dependency

They are run by various organisations, including charities, housing associations and local authorities. Contact your council's social work department (find the contact details on your council's website.)

What is a foyer?

Foyers offer affordable accommodation for young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or in housing need. They combine a secure living environment with help and support and access to work and learning opportunities.

How do I apply for foyer accommodation?

You can contact your nearest foyer directly, or ask to be referred by the council, a social worker or a housing aid centre. The foyer will arrange an entrance interview for you. Most foyers have waiting lists, so it's a good idea to get help with your application to make sure you have a good chance of being accepted.

If you are offered a place, you will be asked to sign an agreement covering all aspects of your residence, including a commitment to remain involved in training, employment or education during the length of your stay, which will normally last from nine months to a year.

Where's my nearest foyer?

At present there are two foyers in Scotland, in Aberdeen and North Lanarkshire. Visit the Foyer Federation's website to find out more.

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The important points

  • Hostels which offer long term accommodation often provide support to help you transition into living independently.
  • Some hostels offer move on accommodation where you live independently but have the help of a support worker.
  • Foyers are affordable accommodation for young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or in housing need.
  • To apply for hostel or foyer accommodation, speak to your council's social work department or get housing advice from Shelter Scotland's free helpline 0808 800 4444.

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