A community response to homelessness
Nationally, around 75,000 young people become homeless each year in the UK and that number is increasing as pressure on housing and services grows.
Nightstop provides an emergency housing service for 16-25 year olds who are at risk of homelessness, The service aims to prevent ‘sofa surfing’ and the subsequent risk of homelessness and rough sleeping, by offering vulnerable young people suitable emergency accommodation provided by approved volunteer hosts within the community.
Sussex Nightstop is affiliated to Depaul UK using their Depaul Nightstop UK, model. De Paul UK is the UK’s largest charity for young homeless people.
Nightstop is a community response to a problem which is all too common in our community. This unique service is made possible by the generosity of inspirational people with a spare room and a desire to make a difference in a young person’s life.
– Sir Trevor McDonald, President of Depaul UK
How does it work?
Sussex Nightstop trains and supports volunteers to become ‘hosts’ who then offer a room in their homes to a young person. Referrals are made from local agencies (YMCA – social services etc) to the Nightstop co-ordinator who matches the young person with a suitable host for a minimum of one night. Hosts receive expenses to cover the costs of food, toiletries etc. and specialist help from social and housing workers.
What they needed
The cost of providing a single night’s accommodation is around £25.
That covers administrative costs, host expenses (including training); a bus ticket for the young person.
- Volunteer hosts
Depaul Nightstop UK believes that in every community there are ordinary people who want to reduce the problems associated with homelessness amongst young people. Volunteers can help local Nightstop services by becoming hosts if they have a room that can be used to provide a bed for a night.
There are other ways to help directly by being telephone contacts, drivers, or meeting and accompanying the young person to make sure they find their way to their host safely.
What we did……
We raised enough money to provide safe shelter for one young person every night for a year and recruited 10 volunteer hosts/befrienders.
Rev Andy Lowe (Jukwa Circuit, Ghana Project)
In 2009, the Rev. Kodwo Arko-Boham of Ghana, who had worshipped in Brighton while a post graduate student at Sussex University, contacted the circuit to suggest adopting his circuit in the Cape Coast District of Ghana for our project. This was agreed and in 2010 a team of 5 went to Jukwa Circuit to learn how Brighton and Hove could support them. It is a very remote and impoverished area with some 18 societies and only one minister. They asked for help in building a water purification plant which would provide a long-term income to the circuit so their many building projects could be funded. £20,000+ was raised through a huge variety of activities including Lunches, a Summer fair and Ghana quiz night.
Correspondence from Ghana:
“We are very thankful to you for your immense assistance. We appreciate the fact that you have spent so much on the circuit and the Jukwa water project. We are determined to do whatever it takes to ensure commencement of the sachet water in our circuit. We believe that the water project will go a long way to help eradicate water-borne diseases in our area.” Prince Osei-Nkrumah
The Assistant minister
Separate to the water project, the circuit agreed to sponsor an assistant minister for the Jukwaa circuit, for 3 years paying for their stipend and expenses. The new minister Rev Adu-Offei, helped the very Rev Minister Joseph Baidoo, from October, 2012 as the First Resident Minister of the Mfuom Church as well as overseeing six other Churches.