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Demand doubles for young homeless help
A CHARITY which helps homeless young people in York and North Yorkshire says demand for its services has more than doubled.
York-based Safe and Sound Homes (SASH) runs a Nightstop project, which finds volunteers who will put up homeless people for a few nights so they have time to sort out their problems.
It says that in the first six months of this year, it offered help to 99 individuals, compared with 49 in the same period last year.
A total of 387 “bednights”
were arranged, compared with 160 last year.
A spokeswoman said the charity had expanded its network to Craven and Harrogate, but this only accounted for a small proportion of the increase in demand.
She said its volunteer hosts had risen to the challenge, enabling the group to avoid turning anyone away, but she appealed for more volunteers, as well as donations to help meet increased costs.
She said Nightstop could change a young person’s life, for example with the case of Joe, (name changed) who was one of 22 young people helped in June.
“His experience shows how, after the trauma and bewilderment of being made homeless overnight, Nightstop provided the time and support he needed to get his life back on track.”
She said Joe, 21, had become suddenly homeless following the break-up of a relationship, and had no friends or family in the area to turn to.
“The council referred him to SASH, and Joe ended up spending 11 nights at the home of a Nightstop host.”
Joe said: “My host was really supportive as well. It gave me a chance to relax a bit during a really stressful time. I had nowhere to go, so it was just a relief that there were people who cared.”
He said he did not know what he would have done without Nightstop. “I had no one that could help.”
• Anyone able to assist SASH or wanting further information should phone 01904 652043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org