The youth homelessness charity St Basils has been awarded funding from Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Solihull Community Housing to provide a Supported Lodgings scheme 'Home2Home Solihull' across North and South Solihull, recruiting members of the local community 'hosts' to help provide emergency accommodation for local young people at risk of homelessness.
St Basils already has an advice drop-in centre and a supported accommodation project in Solihull but this supported lodgings scheme will help house local young people whilst they are being accessed for longer term accommodation places. The scheme aims to help young people generally aged 16 and 17, although this could extend to vulnerable young people aged up to 21.
The scheme recruits ‘hosts’ from all walks of life who have a spare room and want to make a difference to vulnerable young people by providing accommodation and support to a young person within their own home for an agreed amount of time from one night up to a maximum of 12 weeks. The scheme needs understanding and supportive members of the local community who can provide a short term place of safety and security, and work to improve young people’s social and independent living skills, meaning they can move on in a planned way thus helping to prevent ‘crisis’ situations.
In return hosts receive a weekly financial contribution and a support package which includes training.
St Basils has a similar scheme operating in the Birmingham area. Selena from Ladywood (pictured) who has provided accommodation for two young women aged 17, said; "There are a lot of young people out there who just need a helping hand, it’s like a bridge for them.. I've helped them with their social skills, their life skills, everything, so that they’re developing all these other things that they need in order to move forward in life. As Hosts we’re here to give them a breather and some security and help them to just take a breath. When you see the young person begin to open up and begin to trust you, that’s the point when they begin to blossom.... and of course as a Host there are those moments and times of frustration, but yet there are also moments of excitement and fulfilment, it’s magical and that makes everything else worthwhile". Read Selena's full interview here.
St Basils is now looking for Hosts within the Solihull area. To find out more ring Yvette John on 0121 772 2483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Added May 2012