Barbara & Gerard's story | Depaulcharity

Barbara & Gerard's story

Barbara and Gerard saw an advert in their local paper asking for Nightstop hosts. They had a spare room and time to offer, so they applied.

Barbara and Gerard have four children and five grandchildren and knew they had the experience to help a  homeless young person. They like to get involved in community work and give back when they can.  

Barbara said: "We were worried we wouldn't be accepted because of our age. We applied when we were 75 years young! 

"The process was simple - The Nightstop worker explained how the service works, and she came to our home to meet us. We completed the application form and attended training before we started hosting."

Both Barbara and Gerard feel it is worthwhile being Nightstop hosts. The young people they help arrive at their home in the evening, where they can have a shower and wash their clothes if they wish to. Nightstop provides hosts like Barbara and Gerard with toiletries and clothes to give to the young people. They offer something to eat in the evening, then breakfast the following morning and a packed lunch. Hosts aren't left out of pocket though - for every night that a young person stays, expenses are given to cover any costs.

Barbara says: "At first our family was concerned we were going to allow strangers in our home, but they soon changed their minds. The young people are vetted before they are placed with us. 

"I remember the first time we had a young person stay with us, we were very pleased and excited, but I could see the young woman was very nervous. When the young people are placed with us we are here for them, we don’t judge or ask questions.

"If they want to talk to us about their situation that’s fine - we listen to them. If they want to be left alone, that’s okay too. One thing it's plain to see is that they are grateful to have somewhere safe to stay for the night. Everyone deserves to sleep somewhere safe."

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