Imagine having to spend a night sleeping rough because you’ve got nowhere to stay.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of young people LGBT people right across the North East in both rural and urban communities are facing that difficult choice – tonight, tomorrow and the night after.
A national charity offering emergency accommodation to homeless young people is appealing for volunteers from the LGBT community in the North East.
Nightstop North East – part of Depaul UK – helps young people homeless people aged 16 – 25 find a safe place to stay for the night by placing them with a member of the community host. Nightstop hosts provide safe emergency accommodation for vulnerable young people. What this means in practice is that hosts provide a warm bed for the night, a evening meal, a place of safety and just as important, a listening ear.
With rising homelessness, especially youth LGBT homelessness it is important for Nightstop North East to have positive LGBT role models as Nightstop hosts as well as Nightstop hosts who have a good understanding of LGBT issues.
On average one in four homeless people are LGBT. Despite changes in society and young LGBT people feeling comfortable to come out at an early age – the reality is that when they do they are still greeted with the same level of homophobia & transphobia at home or school. It is estimated that around 60% of young people become homeless as a result of family breakdown.
Nightstop volunteers range from families and couples to single people living on their own. All are fully vetted and receive out-of-pocket expenses, training and support. No previous experience is needed – just a spare room and a desire to help a young person going through a rough time.