A SCHEME supporting homeless young people in Rubery is to close while similar projects in Bromsgrove and Redditch are also under threat, it has been announced.

St Basil's is a charity that works with young people aged 16 to 25-years-old who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and supports thousands every year.

The charity helps the young people stop the cycle of homelessness by giving them skills, confidence and the opportunities to move on to successful independent living.

But the charity has been forced to close its Rubery scheme, based at Callowbrook House in Callowbrook Lane, and find alternative accommodation for the young residents currently living at the project.

The scheme will close at the end of April.

The charity says it has been forced to make the decision after the recent announcement of potential funding cuts by Worcestershire County Council, which have made the project untenable.

St Basil's is to continue running its other accommodation in the county, including Bromsgrove's New Road facility and Redditch's Beoley Court, but these are described as being under threat as a result of the proposed county council funding cuts.

The Rubery project was originally intended to offer semi-supported accommodation to young people, with staff only on-site during normal office hours to provide support.

However it became clear many of the youngsters had complex needs that required round the clock support. This led to the scheme running an increased support package, which was provided by additional short term grants.

With these grants now coming to an end, the charity has taken the decision to close the facility.

The operations director of the Rubery-based scheme, Lorna Esien, said: "We are very sad to have had to close this scheme due to a lack of funding to run the service at the level that was required, for the safety and support of the vulnerable young people.

"We have received a fantastic amount of support from the local community and the young residents over the last two years and we thank our partners, supporters and neighbours for helping us.

"We are concerned about the impacts that a reduction of this service and further local services will have on some of the most vulnerable young people in the local community.

"Cuts to these vital services, at a time when more provision is needed, will place more young people at risk."

Waseley councillor Peter McDonald said: "Over the last few years, more and more young people - for whatever reason and often through no fault of their own - have become homeless.

"St Basil's has been doing a wonderful job giving them a home.

"This will be a disaster - we cannot have young people thrown onto the streets."

A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: "The Future Lives consultation (on funding cuts) closed yesterday, (January 21). 

"We will now assess the responses and use them to form a proposal for cabinet members with delegated powers to consider in mid-February."