On Tuesday 21st March 2017 St Basil’s facilitated The 2017 Youth Homeless Parliament (YHP) at the House of Commons, Westminster, London. Young people were nominated and recruited from St Basil’s, Centrepoint, St Mungo’s Broadway, YMCA England, Crisis, DePaul UK, Foyer Federation, Forum Housing, Roundabout and NYRG; with a final total of 117 young people attended the main event. 40 young people from across St Basil’s and the National Reference Group attended 3 training sessions, in preparation for Parliament, in which all engaged and participated fantastically.
The Youth Homeless Parliament was established 4 years ago, aiming to ensure the promotion of a positive and collective youth voice for young homeless people and Government officials. In order to complete Youth Homeless Parliament 2017, each YHP member participated in a national consultation facilitated by St Basil’s or their support provider. This enabled YHP members to discuss their views regarding the impact of the implementation of the Homeless Reduction Bill and feedback to St Basil’s. In addition to this, members of the National Youth Reference Group attended a Ministerial working group in March to initially discuss some recommendations made by YHP members with Government officials.
A selection of young people were chosen to discuss collective views and feedback on behalf of YHP members directly with Marcus Jones MP; developing the final report. Recommendations were made for the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Bill, as well as the sharing of lived experiences of homelessness; identifying support, accommodation and life skill needs.
All Youth Homeless Parliament members participated extremely well during the main event, including the speakers who bravely delivered very real and hard hitting lived experiences, it was a pleasure to meet and engage with all young people who participated. Well done everyone who attended!
Rachel, one of the young people who took part, said “It was a brilliant experience. The combination of going to Parliament for the first time, experiencing a debate between YHP members and the Minister, about something truly close to you, was overwhelming. I felt so proud of everyone. It was amazing to see how weeks’ worth of training came together, resulting in such powerful and succinct speeches.”