One YMCA, a local YMCA serving Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, has announced a merger with Stevenage-based Housing Association Haven First in order to improve services and assistance for local people experiencing homelessness.

Haven First will become a subsidiary of the One YMCA Group on August 1st of this year, with a full merger with YMCA planned for April 1st of next year.

Haven First’s £2 million turnover is invested in 50 employees and volunteers who help vulnerable homeless people across 93 housing units in Stevenage and North Hertfordshire.

Haven First CEO, Barbara Howard said, “the vision for joining forces with a larger organisation like YMCA will enable a greater platform to create new opportunities in the future that build on our desire to help every homeless person that turns to us for help and support”.

One YMCA CEO, Guy Foxell, said, “the Haven First brand speaks of welcome, compassion and safety – all things we aspire to in our own housing services. We’re delighted by the trust and confidence that the Haven First Trustees have shown in our YMCA and look forward to learning and growing with our new colleagues as we house and then help even more people to belong, contribute and thrive.”