Twenty-nine young mums facing eviction from Stratford hostel

07:00 09 October 2013

Woman and childfren who face possible eviction from  Focus E15 Hostel

Woman and childfren who face possible eviction from Focus E15 Hostel


Twenty-nine single mums - all aged under 25 - are being evicted from a hostel and could be relocated hundreds of miles away after the mother and baby unit was closed following funding cuts.

Since the women received a letter last month stating they had to leave by October 20, housing organisation East Thames has offered them new accommodation as far away as Manchester, Birmingham and Hastings.

The young parents have been living in Focus E15 Foyer with their babies for anything from a few months up to three years, paying rent or receiving housing benefit.

Many were homeless before being given accommodation at the hostel in Victoria Street, Stratford.

Newham Council funded a range of support services for the young mothers but in August reduced this by £41,000.

In response East Thames decided to close the mother and baby unit, saying the the foyer would not be the right place for children without appropriate support on hand.

The majority of the young mothers grew up in Newham and are reluctant to leave their friends and family.

Jasmine Stone, 19, was staying on friends’ couches until she moved in 15 months ago when her daughter Safia was born.

She said: “We want our children to grow up around our families. I’m 19 and I have a baby and we both need support.”

Another, Javea Samuel, 22, mum to three-year-son Jofiah, fears she will have to drop out of college if she is forced to move away.

“I can’t move outside of London. I’m trying to make a life for my son and get myself off benefits,” she said.

An East Thames spokeswoman said staff were working to help the mothers stay in Newham.

She added: “We are aware that some young residents have been offered a home outside of the borough and understand the particular difficulties this presents when they have built up local support networks.”

A Newham Council spokesperson said that as the landlord it was East Thames’ decision to stop providing accommodation to the women.

She said: “A decision was made in May to reduce the funding for support services for young mothers at Focus E15 by £41,000 as these requirements could be met elsewhere, either within the council or via other agencies. The council will still provide funding for support services for 90 young people at Focus E15 at a cost of £250,000 a year. It is up to East Thames to decide how this funding is allocated between its 210 units.”

The women are holding a public meeting this Saturday (12) at Ithaca House, 27 Romford Road, Stratford, starting at 2pm to campaign against their eviction.


Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
Paul Harris headteacher at Curwen Primary School (picture: Birmingham City University)

With so many young people able to go to university these days it is sometimes argued that studying for degree is a waste of time and you can learn the same skills at “the university of life”.

Yesterday, 12:00
Boris Johnson stands with Lord Toby Jug    Picture: PA/Andrew Matthews

Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn – they’re all nuts, according to the leader of the Eccentric Party of Great Britian.

Boris Johnson
Yesterday, 09:00
Members of the Independent Newham Users' Forum (INUF) Football Team

Ill mental health can affect us all. For our final Minds Matter week, a mental health service user tells Kat Hopps how volunteering and mental wellbeing has helped him on the road to recovery.

Emergency services outside Barking station respond to reports of a person on the track Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

A person on the track has interrupted services as emergency services investigate.

British Transport Police

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Read more
£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now