Homeless young people will receive better support in more suitable surroundings thanks to the opening of specialist accommodation earlier this week.
Trinity House, on Weensland Road, is a supported transitional accommodation facility comprising four flats and will house young people who are at risk of becoming homeless.
The council-owned former residential home will provide shelter and support for up to 20 homeless young people a year, with in-house staff helping residents become more independent and able to live without parental support.
Local homeless woman Janine Marshall, 21, was on hand to help open the new facility and told the Hawick News it will offer a valuable balance of freedom and support to homeless young people.
“It’s amazing to see this facility and to see what it can offer young people who are in the situation I was in,” said Miss Marshall.
“I was put into a B&B and had to get on with everything myself, even though I had no idea what I was doing or how to keep a house. Eventually I was thrown in at the deep end and given a flat.
“It will be so much better for anybody coming in here. They’ll have that support on day-to-day life and how to keep a flat – something I didn’t have.
“I’ve never heard of a place that offers this much support for young people who are homeless. There’s that freedom without having parents hanging over them, but there’s somebody there in case they do need anything.”
Provost Ron Smith cut the ribbon to formally open the refurbished Trinity House and spoke of the opportunity it will afford young homeless people.
He said: “Borders young people face challenges such as in accessing appropriate, affordable housing or finding employment or training. The council has developed a strategy for helping our young people who find themselves leaving the family home earlier than anticipated.
“It is our intention that, with the help and support of peer mentors, the young people can achieve real improvements in the quality of their lives. Good housing is important to us all and people need a home in which they can feel comfortable and safe. Hopefully, this will be a springboard for better things in future, but also a safety net to catch them if it goes wrong.”