Nightstop homeless scheme set for Norwich
A new scheme to provide emergency short-term accommodation to homeless young people in Norwich
is to be launched by YMCA Norfolk
The Nightstop scheme aims to provide up to three nights’ emergency accommodation in volunteers’ homes for young people between the ages of 16 and 24.
The project has received £50,000 of funding over two years from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Homelessness Innovation Fund and includes partnerships with Norwich City Council, Broadland Council, South Norfolk Council and Nightstop UK.
It aims to provide up to 360 nights of accommodation over two years and reduce by a quarter the number of homeless 16-21 year olds in greater Norwich.
YMCA Norfolk’s Eddie Pleban, said: “It is an innovative service provided through the goodwill of the community itself to keep young people safe and off the streets.
“The priority group is 16 to 17 year olds who have nowhere to go. They may have fallen out with their parents for one reason or another.
“It is an immediate solution for a short-term problem and aims to prevent the youngsters from getting sucked into the institutional homeless system. It also offers a breathing space for young person who often have immediate needs.
“An act of kindness such as this can often provoke an appreciative response from the young person who is at risk,” said Eddie.
Free to the young person, the scheme includes a mediation service if desired, transport to the volunteers’ home, an evening meal, bed for the night in a private room and breakfast in the morning.
“We are looking for suitable volunteers across Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk who would be prepared to get involved in this vital project,” said Eddie.
“Historically churches have been proactive in the community where existing Nightstop facilities have been set up. We hope that this may be something which the community of faith will take on board and help us meet this very real need.”
Following a vetting procedure, training and continuous support will be provided to volunteers along with a small amount of expenses.
The service aims to have a project worker in place by April and to start taking on volunteers and providing accommodation by the summer.
Gill Duffy, of South Norfolk Council’s housing team, said: “I really believe that this project will have a positive impact on reducing youth homelessness.”
Pictured above is YMCA Norfolk’s Eddie Pleban.