Chelmsford volunteers urgently sought to host homeless young people

November 4, 2021 6:11 PM

homeless sleeping bag

A project to help homeless young people has been launched by Chelmsford City Council, in partnership with the national youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, (and Essex CC and Colchester Borough Homes). They have launched 'Nightstop Essex' and are urgently looking for local volunteers with a spare room in their house to support the initiative, particularly in Chelmsford.

Nightstop Essex prevents young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness from having to spend a night on the streets by placing them in the homes of volunteer hosts.

Cllr Stephen Robinson, the Lib Dem Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said: "Nobody should have to live on the streets in 2021. Out of a growing concern about the level of homelessness in this country, the City Council has set up a Homelessness Forum. It brings together many different groups and organisations who all work together for the same aim - ending homelessness in Chelmsford.

Bringing Nightstop to Chelmsford is an important part of that work and will give targeted help to young people who become homeless. If you could give a young person a temporary home, you could save them from sleeping rough and stop them from needlessly spiralling into further difficulties. You could help to change their lives for the better in a big way."

Alison Hartley, Senior Nightstop Coordinator, Depaul UK, said, "Many young people in Essex are facing a crisis, as the cost of living goes up, employment opportunities are limited and the support they are entitled to is reduced. This is why we are calling on the people of Essex to join us in supporting the young people in our community. By becoming a Nightstop host, you can support someone at a time of crisis in a way that is safe and fits around your life and time commitments.

"We are delighted to be bringing this life-changing service to Essex and are proud to be working with all of our local partners to ensure we can be there when young people need us."

All Nightstop hosts are vetted and given training and support to ensure that they, their families and the young person who stays with them are appropriately safeguarded.

Volunteers are in control of how often they would like to be available to host and have the flexibility to choose which days they would like to welcome someone into their home.

To find out more about becoming a Nightstop host in Essex, contact nightstop.essex@depaulcharity.org.uk