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Everton continue vital support for young homeless

24 Feb 2021
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How Everton in the Community have maintained their important work during the pandemic

For the last eight years, Amy Kirk has been managing Everton in the Community's (EitC) "Home Is Where The Heart Is" programme to provide support to homeless young people as well as those facing homelessness.

That help has been needed more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Amy and her team had to adopt strict safety measures to continue their work in person.

Emotional support

"We didn't want to work remotely with the participants," Amy told the official club website"We had done a lot of work with them and some of them rely on the staff a lot more than others for emotional support, guidance and everything else.

"The team wanted to be there for them so the decision was made from the off."

The project's residential house provides a place to stay, along with vital emotional and practical support so the young people can build confidence, resilience and coping strategies.

"We've had to adapt a lot of things around the house," says Amy. "There were a lot of procedures put in place around hand washing, gloves and masks and trying to keep distance from each other.

"And although we've implemented things to keep everybody safe, it's still such a nice home environment.

"We've had our challenges and it's been really tricky at times ... some of them have got relationships going on and it's hard, but they have been really good and we're proud of them."

Wide-ranging help

Since last March, the "Home Is Where The Heart Is" programme is one of a number of ways in which Everton and EitC have been helping the local community. 

The Blue Family programme has provided food parcels, help with utility bills, physical and mental-health wellbeing support, laptops and other educational resources to over 28,000 individuals and families across the city of Liverpool.

They have been online sessions held ranging from drug and alcohol abuse awareness to poetry recital and healthy-eating workshops.

Club support

Premier League clubs as well as Everton have been offering critical support to their community.

The community arms of West Ham United and Arsenal have partnered with Leyton Orient and their local National Health Service Trusts on the Advantage programme, created to support young Londoners with mental-health issues caused by the pandemic.

More than 10,000 youngsters have also been helped thanks to half-term activity packs delivered by Newcastle United and the club's official charity arm Newcastle United Foundation.

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