A YORK-BASED charity has revealed that it helped to prevent 320 young people becoming homeless last year.

SASH’s annual review for 2018/19 said it had grown over recent years from a small, local charity in York to one working across all of North and East Yorkshire, providing an emergency accommodation night-stop service, longer-term supported lodgings and a resettlement scheme.

Trust chair Sue Thompson said its accommodation continued to be provided by ‘hosts’ - ordinary people who opened up their homes and offered their spare room to help vulnerable 16-25 year olds who had nowhere else to go.

“The effect of their generosity is twofold,” she said. “The young person is not left to navigate the trauma of homelessness on their own, and they are cared for in a home environment – the best possible place for a young person who has been made homeless. Our sincere thanks to all of our wonderful hosts who make this possible.”

She said the charity was increasingly reliant on its donors, volunteers, fundraisers and other supporters to run its services as government funding continued to decline.

The report said that 72 per cent of people who went into supported lodgings subsequently moved into permanent accommodation. Almost half were struggling because of family breakdown, and other reasons included abuse, relationship or fostering breakdown, eviction, leaving care with nowhere to go and seeking asylum.

Hosts addressed the issues that lay at the root of homelessness by providing emotional support, helping young people to continue in or return to education, enter the workplace for the first time and learn practical skills such as budgeting and cooking.

Young people told in the report how SASH had helped them. Georgia, 17, from Selby, said: “I’m more confident now, and I’m better with money.

“SASH helped me figure out what was important and what wasn’t. If anyone was in my position and not sure about going into SASH, I’d say: just do it. Without SASH I wouldn’t be going back to college.”

Adam, 20, of Scarborough, said: “I’m happier since I’ve been in SASH. I’ve had a lot of support... It keeps you on the right path.”