18 March 2022

YMCA Thames Gateway Group has taken ownership of the building formally known as the ‘Brentwood Foyer’ to provide 40 rooms for those who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The accommodation, originally constructed in 1999, will include a dedicated wing providing parent and child accommodation, plus shared communal space both inside and outside of the property. As part of the new acquisition, YMCA Thames Gateway Group and Brentwood Borough Council will work together to ensure that those threatened with homelessness locally can be accommodated without the need to move out of the borough.

Cllr Maria Pearson, Chair of the Environment, Enforcement and Housing Committee, said: “It is great to see an organisation such as YMCA now in charge of the former Foyer building and repurposing it to help so many who find themselves needing support. The partnership with Brentwood Borough Council is a significant step which will see vulnerable residents’ needs prioritised when it comes to allocating space within the YMCA building.

“We have agreed the importance of a dedicated wing to provide parent and child accommodation and, by working closely together, we will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the services we offer. In turn, we are working closely with YMCA to ensure that all the agencies can get the information they need to signpost customers at pace. Our community hub at the Town Hall will help co-ordinate this too, aided by the Housing Teams from Brentwood Borough Council and YMCA Thames Gateway Group.”

CEO of YMCA Thames Gateway Group, Dave Ball, added: “As an established provider of supported housing in Havering for over 50 years, we’re delighted to be bringing our expertise into Brentwood where we will work closely with Brentwood Borough Council.

“Our approach is to provide consistent support, helping young people to make changes that will allow them to break the cycle of homelessness. Our provision offers signposting to education and work, as well as teaching basic life-skills such as cooking and budgeting. Supporting the residents of Brentwood, helping them to stay in the area, is something we’re looking forward to doing.”

As a result of the new project, several new role vacancies have been created and will be advertised on the YMCA Thames Gateway website at www.ymcatg.org/work-for-us