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Hertfordshire Matters highlighted that homelessness in Hertfordshire is on the increase...

A grant of £10,000 will support volunteer hosts who provide a safe, clean and supportive ‘breathing space’ for 18 to 24 year olds to stay overnight in times of crisis.

Launching earlier this year, the Nightstop project is run by Herts Young Homeless (hyh), a charity who are continuously working on ways to creatively tackle homelessness.

Helen Elliott, Herts Young Homeless’ Chief Executive said: “Experiencing street homelessness or sofa surfing can be amongst the most frightening experiences of a young adult’s life. If an individual spends even one night living on the streets with no support, then not only is their mental well-being affected, but they become vulnerable to falling into the cycle of homelessness. We are so grateful for this grant allowing us to prevent young people in Hertfordshire from ever having to experience this situation.”

Many of the young people who are referred to Herts Young Homeless are experiencing conflict within the home, have family members with multiple, complex needs, or have been living with friends who are no longer able to accommodate them.

Helen continues; “Aside from a bed and meals, our hosts also provide some much-needed breathing space for the young person allowing time for hyh to work through their options with them for the longer term e.g. mediation to enable them to return home, finding alternative suitable accommodation or signposting to specialist services.”

Helen Gray, Director of Hertfordshire Community Foundation said; “Our research Hertfordshire Matters shows that homeless in Hertfordshire is on the increase. Nightstop not only helps a young person at their moment of crisis by meeting their immediate physical and basic psychological needs, but it also enhances the young person’s chances of a creating and maintaining positive life choices in the future. We are very pleased to have been able to make this grant.”

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