YMCA service for homelessness
We are thankful to our partner agency Golden Keys for their feedback about the YMCA service for homelessness
‘The YMCA Bristol Wing has offered free accommodation to a vulnerable client who has been experiencing mental health problems with no recourse to the public fund. The intervention from YMCA staff allowed mental health practitioners and social care services to assess the client for the right treatments and social care needs in the community.
The client was provided with a place where he felt secure and respected, with no judgment due to the stigma associated with mental health illness. This period of free accommodation has allowed the client to take medications as prescribed, improved sleep, dietary intake, mood and prevented hospital admission.’
Our research found that young homeless people are some of the most vulnerable in society but that limited resources meant they could be turned away at their time of need. Many services within B&NES that work with young people are geographically spread around, making it difficult for a young person to figure out where to go next and who they need to talk to when in crisis. Our work has highlighted the challenge of working with ‘hard to reach’ young people. We have found that although specialist support is available for young people often those most in need will fail to access it.
We have therefore created Daystop in January 2019; a central, single point of access for young people in B&NES. Daystop provides a safe place to go, somewhere warm and dry where food and drink is offered, mobile phones can be charged, showers and some clean clothes can be had, help and advice can be sought and other services can be signposted in to.