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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Spare rooms could combat youth homelessness

This news post is almost 2 years old

Project supports householders to take in young homeless people

Aberdeen Foyer has launched a new service that aims to stop youth homelessness.

The Foyer Nightstop service will support young people in crisis by connecting them with community hosts to provide a safe, welcoming space on a temporary basis.  This can give young people time to breathe and support to figure out their next steps.

Nightstop urgently needs Community Hosts who have a spare room in their home to offer a young person, aged 16-25 a night or two or up to a few weeks’ emergency overnight accommodation.

This can prevent young people from facing a night on the streets or staying in a dangerous environment. 

Last year alone there were 720 young people presenting as homeless in Aberdeen City and shire.

It works by providing accommodation to low-risk young people who have been referred to Aberdeen Foyer by local authorities and other agencies.

Each young person is supported to obtain two professional references, as well as this, a risk assessment is carried out to ensure they are safe to place, and recruited hosts are also vetted to ensure suitability and safety.

Chief executive Leona McDermid said: “Nightstop can offer young people who are in crisis a safe space free of danger, and the opportunity to connect with any support they might need whilst continuing their daily lives such as going to school, college or work.   

“Nightstop relies on host volunteers from our local communities with the Foyer providing support and training and is rewarding in so many ways.

"Your spare room might be the difference between a young person staying safe or ending up on the streets, and I would encourage anyone who might be interested in hosting to contact us for an informal chat and more information.“

Cllr Anne Stirling, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, said: “We welcome this partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Foyer to develop an innovative service for young people aged 16-25 who may be at risk of homelessness.

"We hope the service will provide the opportunity for young people to engage with services to avoid homelessness where possible and help with a planned move to suitable long-term accommodation or to reconcile with family members if appropriate.

"This development has arisen from actions within our Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan to address youth homelessness.”