Cath Hall, an experienced foster carer, was involved in Manchester's LGBT youth group where she became acutely aware of the rejection & ejection of young LGBT people from their family home & the homophobia they faced within school and society.
In 1989 Cath Hall responded to this crisis by setting up a supported lodgings service for LGBT young people with the support of Hugh Fell, Manchester City Council and other key members of the Manchester LGBT community.
Also in 1989, 16 year old Albert Kennedy fell to his death from the top of a car park in Manchester. Albert was a runaway from a childrens home and in his short life he had experienced rejection and abuse from society.
Cath and the rest of the committee chose to adopt the name the Albert Kennedy Trust not only as a tribute to this young man but also because Albert epitomized the very thing the organisation was set up to prevent happening to other young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
The organization officially became a Trust in 1990.
On 8th May 2013, The Albert Kennedy Trust successfully merged with Newcastle youth homeless charity Outpost Housing to help meet the rising demand and sustain vital services for young people. Outpost was renamed AKT Outpost and provides temporary, supported, fully furnished flats acting as a managing agent in partnership with local housing organisations, in which young people can stay for up to a maximum of 18 months.
In addition to residential spaces, our Newcastle base also offer floating support for up to 14 people providing emotional and practical support to help them maintain their own tenancies. Whilst also helping young people to get back on the pathway to employment, whether that is reengaging with education and training, volunteering, or finding and retaining employment. We help with independent living skills, budgeting, social integration, health and nutrition, and general well-being.
Most recently The Albert Kennedy Trust was delighted to announce the launch of its ‘Purple Door’ housing project for LGBT young people facing homelessness. The project consists of two housing initiatives, one in London and one in Greater Manchester working in partnership with Circle 33, Threshold and the New Charter Housing Group to open the UK’s first LGBT specific safe houses.
Purple Door London is designed to take LGBT young people out of danger and off the streets. They stay in the safe house for approximately 21 days whilst specialist workers provide a bespoke intervention which covers longer-term accommodation, support, mentoring, advocacy and therapeutic care. With six bedrooms, plus shared space and facilities, the house will work with an estimated 100+ vulnerable young people per year, providing a safe, positive space for them to regain their self-esteem and autonomy.
In Greater Manchester, the project will support young people into education, employment and training, and equip them with the skills they need to live independently for between 6 – 12 months through a structured tenancy training program. We work to address issues directly related to their sexual and/or gender identity and reduce the impact of the disadvantage they face. We prepare young people with training on issues that affect them, such as coming out in the workplace and improving self-esteem, as well as standard independent living skills such as budgeting. In addition young people have access to AKT’s portfolio of support such as mentoring and befriending.