Knightstone Housing tackles youth homelessness in South Somerset with #sleepsafe campaign

30 July 2014

Yesterday, a team of our staff and young residents from our supported housing in Yeovil came together to raise awareness of youth homelessness in the area, with an eye-catching campaign.

Our team set up a spare room on Yeovil’s bandstand and distributed over 200 pillows across the town’s park benches and doorways, with messages on them such as ‘Can you offer a real bed tonight?’ and ‘Your spare room is a lifeline’.

We are apart of a Somerset-wide partnership called Pathways to Independence (P2i) which works to prevent homelessness amongst 16-24 year olds. One of the main services offered by P2i is emergency accommodation for young people, in the homes of approved host families. A young person is given safe accommodation for a few nights, a meal and access to wash facilities, while we arranges mediation with family members, or a more permanent place for them to stay.

Our Assistant Director for Supported Housing, Sonia Furzland said, ‘We launched this #sleepsafe campaign in Yeovil to make people aware of the part they can play to help us help vulnerable young people who find themselves facing homelessness.

By working with hosts who provide crucial, emergency accommodation, we can prevent a young person from finding themselves in the vulnerable situation of sleeping rough.

If you have a spare room that you can offer to a young person for just a night or two, and think you might be interested in becoming an Emergency Accommodation Host, get in touch with us to find out more.’

22 year old Steve Doherty was living in a tent before he came to our P2i service: ‘The best thing about staying with a host family was that you got a sense of normality. I’d been away from my family and friends for so long that I was very, very lonely, very, very miserable. Mitch and Liesa were so friendly and warm. They let me in their house to watch tv with them at night, have dinner with them…It was just like being part of a family again, which was a really, really lovely thing.’

For more information: www.knightstone.co.uk/hostfamilies

Join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #sleepsafe

Check out our film of the day by clicking on the 'play' icon at the top of this article.

 

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