Could you offer a safe place to stay?

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 07 March 2014 Updated: 07/03 10:43

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Buy photos » Nightstop host Tony Pitt gets his spare room ready. 0814018MMR

MORE hosts are needed to help give homeless youngsters a safe place to stay.

Redditch Nightstop, which runs services for young people aged 16 to 25, is appealing for extra residents to come forward and offer their spare rooms to the cause.

As well as supported lodgings, where a young person stays in one home for a longer period of time, the charity offers emergency accommodation for as little as one night at a time.

Following a redesign of the services, the charity is still offering young people the chance to access services directly as well as working with other organisations such as Redditch Borough Council to get referrals of people who may be at risk of homelessness or in need of somewhere to stay.

Between 2012 and 2013, Nightstop provided 181 overnight stays for young people in need but are hoping more residents sign up to increase that number.

A spokeswoman said: “The more hosts we have the better as it avoids young people being left in isolation. Even one night on the scheme is so worthwhile for them.

“It’s not just the accommodation, it’s the support which runs alongside that such as sorting out their benefits, negotiating with employers and allowing them to stay in training or on college placements until they can find a more permanent solution to their problems.

“Our support lodgings programme runs for six to nine months. Once they have been with us and been supported on the scheme, the transition to independent living is made easier.”

Tony Pitt, who has volunteered with the charity for around 15 years, added: “Despite many being extremely upset, I have never had any trouble and I think that concern may stop potential hosts from coming forward. The charity vets them closely and would not bring them to people’s homes if they were concerned about their behaviour.

“Over the years I have had such wonderful young people to stay. Often after they have stayed, I see them in Redditch, sometimes with a parent, and they come up and thank me for putting them up and tell me how well things are going - that is such a wonderful thing to hear.”

For more information, visit www.redditchnightstop.co.uk, e-mail info@redditchnightstop.co.uk or call 01527 66036.

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