Help needed for young homeless

Nighstop South Holland host Sue Abrams, who opens her home to young people in crisis.
Nighstop South Holland host Sue Abrams, who opens her home to young people in crisis.
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HOSTS are desperately needed to provide young people in crisis with a roof over their heads.

A charity which gives emergency overnight shelter to young people who find themselves homeless is asking anyone in South Holland who has “a heart for young people in difficulty” to offer their spare room to help out.

Nightstop has been running in the district for seven years and in that time has provided almost 200 nights of shelter to 16 to 25-year-olds who find themselves with nowhere else to turn.

And as Christmas looms, the charity wants to make sure it doesn’t have to turn anyone away if they need a bed for the night.

Sue Abrams helps run the national charity’s local group and is herself a host.

She said: “We have never had anyone over the Christmas period and the need doesn’t seem to peak at this time of year particularly, but we don’t want to have turn anyone away should the need arise.

“There is a need for this kind of help in South Holland all year round and becoming a Nightstop host is a very rewarding way of helping young people when they need it most.”

The group currently only has two hosts available to take people in, and finding more people willing to help is essential to take the pressure off existing volunteers and ensure someone is always available.

Hosts, who can be couples, single people or families, are contacted by the group’s “handler” when a young person is referred by a number of agencies such as South Holland District Council or a school, and they always have the option to say no if it is inconvenient to have someone to stay.

A young person only stays with a host family for between one and four nights and eats an evening meal and breakfast with the family but does not stay at the house during the day.

The young people are carefully vetted for suitability for the scheme, as are potential hosts.

Mrs Abrams (69), of Weston, said: “Most of the young people we see are under 20 and come to us because there has been some sort of family breakdown and they can’t stay at home.

“If you have a heart for young people in difficulty, there is definitely a need in South Holland and some of the young people are a joy to have in the house.”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer for Nightstop, call 07947 786082.