Open Homes provide emergency host accommodation and long term supported lodgings. Here, three young people share about the impact this has made on them... (*all names have been changed for confidentiality)

Supported Lodgings Case Study

Oliver*, 18, had been excluded from the family home after the relationship with both his Mum & his Grandmother broke down, and he was having to sleep in a tent in the back garden. A referral had been made to Social Care but they were unable to help him and they referred him into Nottingham Nightstop.

Oliver’s phone screen had broken so he was struggling to make and receive calls and he was concerned that he would miss important calls from the hostel he had been referred to. The Open Homes Worker purchased a phone for him so that he would be contactable and also provided Oliver with food parcels for his lunches during his Nightstop stay, as hosts were providing 24 hour placements instead of the usual overnight stay. This helped to reduce the risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 and gave him a safe place to stay during the daytime whilst no support services were open due to the lockdown. He was also provided with facemasks and alcohol hand gel to use, as were the hosts, drivers and staff he came into contact with during his placements.

Oliver was on Nightstop placements for almost four weeks. The referral agency had referred him to a hostel and he went for an interview but there were no spaces as nobody was moving on due to COVID-19. The Open Homes Worker & Volunteer Host helped him to look for private rented shared accommodation and he was almost offered a place, but then the other housemates decided to give the room to a University student instead. However, a Supported Lodgings placement then became available and so he moved onto the Supported Lodgings scheme.

He settled in well to his placement and started back at college on the next level of his Mechanics course. The Supported Lodgings Worker helped him with his benefits claim and with setting up his own bank account, along with helping him learn to budget his money. They also helped him to register with a doctor and supported him to look at his housing options after Supported Lodgings.

The Supported Lodgings Host also encouraged Oliver to take up a new hobby of playing the guitar and he also learned how to repair bikes, which he really enjoys.

Oliver decided that he wanted to move in with his girlfriend and so the Supported Lodgings Worker helped him to make plans for this and acquire all the furniture and items he needed for the move as well as offering ongoing support whilst he settled into his new flat.

Nottingham Nightstop Case Study

Hello, my name is Yasmin*. I am 19 years old. I had been living with my mum but I wasn’t getting on with her and we kept arguing so she asked me to leave. I had been working at a restaurant but was furloughed so money was a worry. I went to Housing Aid and they placed me in a hotel due to the Coronavirus pandemic but it was to close the following week. They referred me into Nottingham Nightstop for some emergency accommodation. Housing Aid were also doing a referral into a hostel but I needed somewhere to stay until this was sorted.

I stayed with a host for four nights. She had a Shih Tzu dog - I love dogs and had to leave mine at the family home, so I enjoyed playing with him and helping to take him for walks. Due to the pandemic the host was able to let me stay in the daytime to limit contact with other people and keep me safe. I had French toast one morning for breakfast which I’d not had before, it was nice.

The Nightstop worker kept in touch with me about the progress with my hostel application. They also offered me a support worker to help with other accommodation options including grants for rent or a deposit if I needed to look into private renting.

The hostel found me a place in one of their shared houses and Nottingham Nightstop organised a Nightstop Driver to take me to my new place. As I didn’t have any money for food Nottingham Nightstop were also able to provide me with a food parcel which made my start to independent living so much easier.

Nottingham Nightstop Case Study

Hello, my name is Richard* and I am 17 years old. Although I have been living with my mother it hasn’t been the most stable of homes. My mother’s partner was abusive, so much so we had to flee the family home and my mum was placed in a refuge. I didn’t want to move into a refuge so I stayed with my older sister and her 3 children.

Although it was ok there in the beginning, after 3 or 4 months things got tenser so I moved in with my Aunt. My Aunt’s partner is disabled and her son was returning home to live so there was no longer any room for me. I’m currently unemployed and only just applied for Universal Credit when I presented to Social Care.

Nightstop were able to offer me emergency accommodation for 6 nights with 3 different hosts whilst social care sought more permanent accommodation. Whilst with one of the Nightstop hosts we made pizzas from scratch which I loved doing. I was able to see my girlfriend in the day and leave my bags there which made it so much easier as they are really heavy. When I went out for the day the hosts made me up a packed lunch and drink which was great as I hadn’t had any money come through yet.

My social worker then managed to find me a place in supported accommodation.

Can You Help?

If you have a spare room, and a heart to provide a home to a young person who has none, please email or call on 0333 3232 265

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