One young person's experience of Nightstop
Ruby's relationship with her mum was up and down from the time she was 16 years old. Looking back she doesn't blame her mum. "I was difficult and started drinking alcohol and messing about with my friends. I had my own problems and I was very conscious of how I looked, I also had anxiety and depression."
When Ruby was 18 years old her mum asked her to leave home for the second time. On the first occasion she had gone to live with her auntie but the second time she moved in with her boyfriend who was staying with his friend. After a few weeks Ruby was asked to leave. She had no where to go, her mum would not take her back and her auntie's house had become overcrowded. Ruby had no choice but to go to the local council homeless department. The worker at the council told her about Nightstop, she said Ruby would be able to stay with a host family. A support worker took Ruby to her Nightstop accommodation where she was introduced to an older couple she was going to stay with.
"I had never felt so welcome, I was shown my room, there were toiletries and nightwear left for me on the bed. I had a shower and I had proper hot food. I felt safe and had good nights sleep. I left in the morning after breakfast. The next night I stayed with another family, I stayed with them until my supported lodgings accommodation was available"
"Nightstop is really good and the people that open their homes to young people should be given awards!"
A Nightstop hosting experience
Barbara and Gerard saw an advert in their local paper asking for Nightstop hosts. They applied as they had a spare room and time to offer.
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 says "we were worried we would not 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, 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 doing Nightstop, the young people arrive at their home in the evening, they can then have a shower/bath and if they want to wash their clothes. Nightstop provides hosts with toiletries and clothes to give to the young people. Young people are given something to eat in the evening, then breakfast the following morning and a packed lunch. For every night the young person stays expenses are given to cover any costs.
Barbara says "at first our family were concerned we were going to allow strangers in our home however 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 but one thing is plain to see they are grateful they have somewhere safe to stay for the night and everyone deserves to sleep somewhere safe".