Safe beds for young homeless in Torbay

(Last Updated On: June 25, 2021)

YMCA South Devon are getting ready to launch their own ‘Nightstop’. An initiative set up by DePaul UK in over 30 regions across the country, Nightstop recruits and trains volunteers, to offer emergency beds for Young People that find themselves homeless.

To become a volunteer host for YMCA Nightstop South Devon, you just need a spare room and the passion to make a difference for young adults at a time when they are particularly vulnerable. Training, resources, and ongoing support are supplied by YMCA South Devon.

Pete Heckles, YMCA’s Nightstop Project Lead said: ‘Once trained and DBS checked, volunteers will provide young people their own room, evening meal, shower and breakfast and most importantly a safe space and someone to talk to during what can be a traumatic time. The support the hosts provide is invaluable and can stop young people becoming street homeless.’

YMCA South Devon are working in partnership with other agencies including Torbay Council, to ensure that while the young person is being kept safe with the host families, longer term solutions are being sought for them moving forward. Maria Goodwin, CEO of YMCA South Devon said: ‘It has been a passion of mine for a long time to be able to provide this service, so I am really pleased that we are able to work collaboratively with Torbay Council to ensure that longer term solutions are found.’

Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing at Torbay Council, Councillor Swithin Long said: ‘Last year Torbay Council Housing Options team and Children’s Services provided temporary accommodation for 133 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who found themselves homeless. This accounted for 26% of all people accommodated by Housing Options. There is a real need for such help so that these young people are supported so the right environment is provided within which to work together. This hopefully help build bridges and where appropriate, either assist those young people to return home or we can provide suitable move on plans. There is a real need for the Nightstop service and we are delighted to be working with YMCA on this project for the benefit of our young people here in Torbay.

As well as hosts offering a bed for the night, YMCA will be recruiting a variety of volunteers that can assist in other ways, so if you want to make a difference to young people, get in touch via email.

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