Here at YMCA Bath we are continuing to run our Nightstop project as we have throughout the past year.
We provide emergency accommodation for 16-25-year olds who are homeless. Over the past few months we have had some really lovely success stories. One is a young lady, Holly (not her real name), 19 years old when she came to us. Holly had been homeless for a few months due to domestic violence in the family home, she had been sofa surfing amongst her friends and other family members but had nowhere permanent to live. The lack of housing and stress caused by constantly moving, especially during a pandemic, was causing her mental health to deteriorate and she was very depressed when she came to us. We gave Holly our emergency room here at the hostel in Bath and then began to work with Holly to help find a permanent home. As luck would have it, another young person moved out of one of our Platform for Life supported houses. Holly is now about to move into her new home, she has found a new job close by and is also now thinking of applying for an access course to enter university one day…
At the Bath hostel we are also now back up and running with our Daystop room. Here we are able to offer daily support to young people aged 18-25, offering help with job searching, benefit applications, mediation, computer access and help with finding accommodation. In the past few months we have also been extremely grateful that our funders; The Big Lottery, have agreed to funding for an in-house counsellor who will be working with our young people. The pandemic and three lockdowns have caused a huge rise in poor mental health amongst the young and we are so happy that we now have the means to help some of those that need it.
Finally, our Platform for Life (Supported Housing) project is now full, with 16 young people living in shared houses. Many of these young people lost their jobs and livelihood over the past year and as most were on zero hours contracts, this meant they were not entitled to any furlough pay. We are now over the moon to say that the majority of these young people are now back in work, either with new jobs or back to existing ones. Support workers from the Bath Hostel continue to work with all these young people on a weekly basis.