Homeless charity’s host plea

Sarah Ware . pic Richard Ponter 150933b
Sarah Ware . pic Richard Ponter 150933b

A charity working to battle youth homelessness is looking for Scarborough people to show their support.

SASH - Safe and Sound Homes - is looking for volunteer hosts who could offer their spare room for a night to someone aged 16 to 25 who has nowhere else to stay.

People enjoy it and get a lot out of it, while making a huge difference to the lives of young people

Sarah Ware, community coordinator for SASH

The charity is also organising a mass sleepout to raise funds and awareness tomorrow night from 10pm at St James Church in Seamer Road.

Sarah Ware, community coordinator at SASH, said: “We urgently need hosts in the Scarborough area.

“In February we did 61 nights for 14 young people in Scarborough, with some having to travel to Ryedale.

“We could not operate the service without our volunteers.”

The Nightstop service offers a room for the night to young people in need of somewhere to stay.

Referrals come via housing provider Foundation and hosts provide a bed, shower facilities, an evening meal and breakfast the next morning.

Meanwhile, Foundation staff will be working on trying to find more permanent accommodation.

Hosts are supported 24/7 and there is always someone they can ring. They receive training and are DBS checked.

The charity also runs checks with the police about the young person’s background to minimise any risks.

Sarah said: “I was a host myself and we have people who have been doing it for years.

“People enjoy it and get a lot out of it, while making a huge difference to the lives of young people.”

One of those young people was Ashley, 20, who found herself homeless after “sofa surfing” with friends in Scarborough.

She said: “At first I was a bit nervous about going to a stranger’s house, but they were really nice.

“I got something decent for tea and it was nice to chill out and not have to think about where I was going to stay that night.

“The hosts were lovely - they were down to earth and we got on really well. We had a proper chat - I told them about my life and they told me about theirs.”

Ashley stayed with one host for three nights and another for one night.

With help from Foundation, she now has her own flat and is looking forward to a brighter future.

Ashley said: “Things got better from there. Sometimes people don’t like to ask for help, but I’m so glad I did.”

To find out more about SASH go to www.sash-uk.org.uk

If you would like to chat about becoming a host, or sign up for the sleepout event, call (01904) 652043 or email info@sash-uk.org.uk