One of the most important things young people need when they leave youth care at 18 is a warm, safe place to call their home. Unfortunately, research shows that as many as 75% of all young people in homeless shelters have a background in youth care. Kamers met Aandacht matches private individuals who want to rent out a room to young people looking for housing. With a roof over their heads, personal assistance in starting their adult lives and engaged roommates and neighbours, they make a fresh start. With support from the VriendenLoterij Fonds (FriendsLottery Fund), Kamers met Aandacht is launching a new pilot project: tiny houses in private gardens.
Successful cooperative initiative
Since 2020, Kamers met Aandacht has been actively looking for innovative ways to reduce the number of homeless young people. Kamers met Aandacht is now active in 42 municipalities, recruitment has started in 30 municipalities and 80 young people live in housing through Kamers met Aandacht.
Tuinkamers met aandacht (Attention for Garden Rooms)
Kamers met Aandacht have already created homes with singles, couples, in guesthouses, cooperative living groups and student houses. Tiny houses are now being added. Landlords told Kamers met Aandacht that they are happy to take young people into their homes, but that it’s quite an intrusion on their privacy. The idea of tiny houses was born to offer landlords and young tenants more space and privacy.
Bringing this project to fruition will require knowledge, skills and a healthy dose of goodwill from several companies. From building the tiny homes to installing electricity and plumbing. Construction company Bouwbedrijf BAM is helping with the latter as part of assuming corporate social responsibility. And the tiny houses themselves will be finished by equity investment company Utrechts Werkbedrijf, a socially inclusive enterprise that offers people who find it difficult to find employment an opportunity to get back to work. Municipalities, companies and private individuals are essential to this special project’s success.
Safka Overweel, Social Programme Manager, DOEN: “Bureaucracy makes it unnecessarily difficult for young people leaving youth care at 18 to participate in society. Kamers met Aandacht resolves this situation. Their innovative working method matches DOEN’s approach. We are happy to support the creative Tuinkamers met Aandacht (Attention for Garden Rooms) pilot project because the initiative shows what is possible.”
Pilot project targeting system change
For Kamers met Aandacht, the aim of this project is not to eventually manage as many tiny houses as possible. They mainly want to demonstrate that innovative, alternative living arrangements are possible for vulnerable young people. All too often, solutions are not explored because it’s problematic to obtain permits or comply with the applicable legislation and regulations. The pilot provides an opportunity to show that it’s possible to do more than is currently allowed. A stepping stone to a society that shows solidarity and in which we care more about one another!