Camden resident opens her home to help vulnerable young people
By Nightstop | Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 18:04
Camden resident Gillian Fahey has begun hosting vulnerable young people at risk of homelessness through charity Depaul UK and New Horizon Youth Centre.
Nightstop London A4 poster
Gillian Fahey, a lifelong resident of Camden, decided to become a community host after reading about the scheme in a local paper. She wanted to show the young people that they are valuable members of the community.
Gillian says: 'These young people are down on their luck and need the recognition from somebody to open their heart and their home'. She also says 'the young people I have hosted have been really appreciative of the support I have provided to get them back on their feet when they have experienced difficult times, they have been charming, respectful and polite.'
Nightstop London prevents homelessness by providing a safe bed for the night to a young person who may otherwise be sleeping on the streets, in the home of a volunteer host. Both hosts and young people are thoroughly vetted before making placements.
The Nightstop scheme has been running successfully in London for 15 years; however Nightstop London has only recently recruited their first volunteer in the borough of Camden. The project offers a great opportunity for Camden residents to help combat homelessness in their own borough, and make a real difference in a young person's life.
One 18 year old who stayed with a Nightstop volunteer said: "I went to bed feeling safe and comforted, I stayed with various hosts while Depaul UK found me somewhere permanent, they were lovely and reassuring. Overall Nightstop made a big difference to me".
Nightstop London and New Horizon Youth Centre, based in Kings Cross, work in partnership to ensure all young people have ongoing holistic support. Nightstop volunteer hosts offer either a single night of safe accommodation whenever they are available, or host a young person for up to 6 weeks, whilst New Horizon Youth Centre works to secure longer term accommodation.
49 young people aged 16- 24 were seen sleeping rough on the streets of Camden last year. There is a real lack of emergency accommodation for this age group, without the generosity of Nightstop volunteers many young people would have no where else to go.
If you would like to get involved with the project, either through hosting a young person or helping us spread information about the service please visit www.depauluk.org/nightstoplondon or contact Isobel Foulsham on 0207 939 1234.