In autumn 2017, the average number of rough sleepers in England each night was 4751. 8% of those were thought to be below the age of 25...
Christmas is a wonderful time for friends and family to come together and celebrate. However, not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has a home they can go to or shelter to keep them safe at night. This problem is never more challenging than during the winter months, when the biting cold and darkness render living on the streets more dangerous than ever, particularly for young people.
Thanks to the BYHP Housing Advice Service and its emergency winter fund, we are tackling this amongst the young people within our community. Without this, many youths could risk becoming stuck in a cycle of rough sleeping with nowhere else to go. There is an undoubted stigma attached to homelessness and it’s important to remember that there is a story behind each individual’s situation. No matter what that reason is, we believe every young person deserves the right to somewhere safe to sleep at night.
What is the Winter Emergency Fund?
This scheme provides a support system to help young people in our community find the immediate shelter they so desperately need. Our support ensures both a short and long-term solution – we’re there at each stage of the journey. For a young person in need of shelter, BYHP can provide funds for a short-term accommodation solution – this could be temporary accommodation in a local B&B, or maybe a tent during the summer months.
Once we’ve resolved the immediate concerns around shelter, our Housing Advice Workers work with each of our young people to identify the best support solution to match their individual circumstances. This could be providing an ear to listen, or offering important advice for resolving their problems, or maybe just supporting them through completing complicated forms. In many cases we can provide this support in-house. If not, we provide the essential connection between those at risk and the external agencies who can help.
It may well be that emergency accommodation for single people is available via the No Second Night Out Protocol (NSNO) which is run and administered by Cherwell District Council.
How can you help?
The BYHP Housing Advice Service and its winter emergency accommodation fund is designed to offer a short-term solution to help young people avoid having no option but to sleep on the streets. However, these critical services have limited funds, which must be frequently topped up to ensure we can continue supporting those young people who so desperately need and deserve our help.
Thanks to an extremely generous anonymous donation, we already have a fantastic £5000 funding. However, we can’t stop there – we must raise more. Without raising more funds, more and more young people will be at risk of rough sleeping this Christmas.
It’s incredible to see the difference just a small donation can make in helping these young people get back up on their feet. Here are just a few examples of what your money can go towards:
£10 could buy a protective sleeping mat
£15 could buy a camping stove
£20 could buy a warm sleeping bag
£30 could help us provide a tent
£50 could pay for 1 night’s accommodation
£250 could pay for a whole week’s accommodation
So please, do something extraordinary this Christmas... Instead of buying that cheeky Christmas present for yourself, why not donate that money to help us transform the life of one of our young people in desperate need?
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