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Faith motivates volunteers to take in young homeless people

Nightstop volunteers surveyed in a recent piece of research said that they gave young homeless people a bed for the night because of their Christian faith, with one respondent stating they were “responding to God’s generosity”.

Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery (PPL), Nightstop is a same-night emergency accommodation service that links young people in crisis with trained volunteer hosts who accommodate them in their own home.

Sarah, who hosts with her husband Greg in Nottingham, said: “When we started Nightstop we wanted to play our part in changing outcomes for young people. We have a love for the young people that God has given us. That love is real. It is not a burden to us. We enjoy hosting.

“We believe God changes lives and can turn around difficult situations in people’s lives. By opening our homes to young people at Nightstop we both express the love of God to the young person and hope to play a part in helping a young person.”

Many of the volunteer hosts who took part in the research found that hosting through Nightstop had made them more open-minded and given them a greater understanding of the challenges facing young people.

Nightstop also surveyed young people who had been taken in by volunteers. More than a third (36%) said that if it weren’t for Nightstop they might have slept on the streets or in a park, with a quarter  saying they would have slept on public transport or in a public building.

The research also found that more than 95 percent of young people who used the service felt that it had improved their personal safety.

Nicola Harwood, Depaul UK’s Associate Director for Prevention, said: “The remarkable hosts who open up their homes to a young person in need can make a long-lasting impact on their lives at a moment of genuine need.

“We are always looking for new hosts to help ensure we don’t turn anyone away. I would encourage anyone who wants to make a tangible difference to a young person’s life to get in touch about Nightstop hosting.”

Last year, Nightstop gave a safe place to stay to more than 1,400 young people, providing a total of 11,070 nights of accommodation across the UK.

To find out more about how to become a Nightstop volunteer, visit www.nightstop.org.uk/get-involved

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