New computer suite helps young homeless people stay connected
published on 17 May 2021
A Salvation Army Lifehouse, which provides supported accommodation for young people aged 16-to-21, is helping them stay connected with family and friends after upgrading its computer suite.
Stuck indoors during the lockdown, the need for adequate technology became even more important for youngsters living in Crossroads in Accrington, Lancashire - with many needing to keep up with their studies at college or stay in touch with relatives across the world.
Crossroads Service Manager Sam Harrison said: “We know how important it is for our young people to keep in touch. Many are in college and so also need good wifi for online learning and for doing their homework, as well as using social media.
“Some of our young people have been through traumatic experiences and as asylum seekers may have travelled to this country with others who are like family to them, so it’s important they can be in contact with them, as well as family in their home countries.
“Before the refurbishment, the equipment was not fit for purpose, it was very old-fashioned and the internet connection was poor. The whole place needed re-cabling.
“We needed to set something up to ensure people stayed indoors and stayed safe during the lockdowns. We wanted something welcoming for them.”
Thanks to donations to The Salvation Army, Crossroads staff and residents were able to repaint the room, purchase new equipment, and upgrade the wifi.
Sam continued: “We wanted them to be involved with the whole process and have ownership over it. We have five new computers, new chairs and a family member of one of our staff reupholstered the dividers between computers.
“Residents have told us they are really happy. They’ve been blown away by it.
“It also expands us as a service. The facilities are there so they can contact external support such as social services, solicitors etc. Employment Plus have also visited and said the space can be used to support the young people further with employment, training and CV writing etc.
“It’s thanks to kind donations that The Salvation Army is able to provide something like this that makes life a little easier for our young people. We’re really grateful.”