I received this recent mailing about New Forest Nightstop:
New Forest Nightstop is the only provider of emergency accommodation in the New Forest for young people age 16-24, who find themselves suffering homelessness and this is all done through the homes of trained and approved volunteers. There is absolutely no other emergency provision; hostels or shelters, in the New Forest. The first thing people usually say to me is ‘Are there really people homeless in the New Forest?’ Unfortunately, this is a reality that people are very much unaware of. The forest is mainly an affluent area with a very rural spread. This means that homelessness, as people usually understand it, goes very much unnoticed. The young people we help are not the street-hardened rough sleepers people typically think of in regards to homelessness but everyday teenagers, suffering a crisis, in need of help and protection.
Through our team of 26 volunteers Nightstop provides free emergency overnight accommodation, meals, laundry, baths, travel costs, toiletries, start-up furniture, food parcel referrals, start-up home energy costs, practical support with benefit claims, housing forms and the progression of their housing case through housing panels, with a multi-agency approach to the best outcomes with the means we have. But Nightstop hosts offers much more than this to a young person; a listening ear, a sense of belonging and trust, a future, protection from rape, drugs, abuse, increased employability, offering security to not only the young person but their education; 69% of young people who stayed in the last year were in education, training or employment.
New Forest Nightstop has just entered its 12th year and in that time we have provided over 2000 nights of safety to vulnerable young people from our local communities. Our aim is to save them from reaching the streets and becoming victims there. We are hard at work trying to bring an awareness of Nightstop and the tragedies it prevents to the communities around us.
But the reality is that, at the moment, we do not have enough hosts, particularly in the Hythe and Dibden area, for the number of young people needing help.
Please follow the link below to visit our website for a real insight into our work and activities. You can read stories from the young people that have been supported by Nightstop, experiences of our volunteers and even watch our short film about homelessness in the New Forest.
I hope you have found this of interest and I look forward to hearing from you if you feel you can help us in any way.
Nightstop Support Worker
Community First New Forest
Tel: 01425 478391