A recent story helps show how each young person we come into contact with has their own set of circumstances and how Open Homes works to secure a better outcome.
Towards the end of August, a young man made homeless from the family home was referred to Nightstop for emergency accommodation. He had a mild disability and had spent some time in care. As well as sourcing a place to sleep with really supportive hosts, the on-call team reached out to several other agencies and services including Broxtowe Youth Homelessness, Gedling Borough Council, benefits, GP and Nottingham College and coordinated a response to help move him on from homelessness.
Whilst spending time in town, the young person met a girl whom he reported to us as vulnerable. Her details were passed on to the police and social service to identify and locate her as a matter of priority. It turned out that she was a looked after child who was missing. Once she had been identified, the on-call team left her case with social care. (She was not referred to us for accommodation)
On the same day the young man was attacked in Nottingham by two separate groups of young people. He was repeatedly punched in the face. Thankfully a member of the public called the police and he was taken to A&E for care. We subsequently contacted Red Thread to support him.
Open Homes continued to provide accommodation for him on Nightstop throughout this period. The young person completed a park run with a host on a weekend stay. He spent time at the Friary in West Bridgford, received a sandwich lunch at Arena church, sold the Big Issue and arranged a trip to Scotland! Open Homes support workers have arranged support for him at college including funding, meals at college, a bus pass and a mentor.
Open Homes has been offering emergency accommodation to young people since 2006, but we are so much more than a bed for the night or a signposting service. The process of helping a young person navigate their circumstances is one of patiently dealing with complex issues and overcoming multiple hurdles.
We are so grateful to our hosts who provide a safe place for young people while we also do everything in our power to ensure they can move on to better things once they leave Nightstop.