We think of the typical Devon house as a picturesque…
Youth homelessness is on the increase with more young people sofa surfing in order to avoid having to sleep rough
Julian House offers a service specifically to support homeless 16-25 year olds, Nightstop Devon. This provides same day, emergency overnight accommodation in the homes of volunteer hosts who have been trained and vetted. Not only does this prevent young people from having to sleep on the streets or sofa surfing in friends homes, but acts as a service to find solutions to their housing situation and works with other agencies to find long term accommodation.
Nightstop Devon shares the journey of one young person, Martin, aged 20, who became homeless. He was asked to leave accommodation which supports young people with drug and alcohol issues because he tested positive for cannabis. Martin sofa surfed at his friends flat, putting his friend’s tenancy at risk.
After making a homeless application to the local council he was referred to Nightstop Devon. When completing his references, it was highlighted Martin had struggled with class ‘A’ drugs and family breakdown. This lead to him being referred to supported accommodation. The support team felt this was’t the best option for Martin as he wanted to focus on getting work and his own private flat. With this in mind he used Nightstop Devon for six weeks with several hosts who found Martin to be well-mannered and had a proactive approach to finding secure accommodation.
Martin stated he found Nightstop Devon a good experience as he could see how other people lived and it has inspired him to live independently. In addition, he started to build a positive relationship with his family and began meeting them in the day time between engaging with Nightstop Devon support staff.
Martin was offered an interview for a trainer tenancy which could support him to gain the skills to maintain a long-term tenancy in the private rented sector. After being offered a place with another young person in a two-bedroom flat, Martin engaged well with support staff and completed the Young Person’s Outcome Star which helped him highlight any issues he needed to address.
Martin has recently started working a part-time job as a labourer at a building site and has started to look at mentorships to gain a trade and hopefully full-time employment. His relationship with family has grown and the support gained from them has helped maintain a stable tenancy.
Martin is aiming to move into a shared house and feels the skills gained from building relationships with new people, cooking fresh food and the tenancy training course he attended will ensure he stays in stable and secure accommodation.
Nightstop Devon relies on private funding and donations from the public in order to run the service. It costs £35 to provide emergency accommodation for a young person per night. Click here to donate via our Just Giving page.
To find out more about the service please contact Sarah Lakey; firstname.lastname@example.org
To refer a young person to the service please call: 01392 573606