6 March 2020

When Ian arrived on YMCA Nightstop’s doorstep, he was desperate for some help and advice, feeling he had nowhere to turn.

Having had a negative experience in a hostel for homeless people and not knowing what would happen next, his mental health began to deteriorate as the prospect of returning to living in a tent was in sight. Not uncommon for many young people, Ian’s poor relationship with his family meant that he was not able to stay with them and he has simply had run out of options.

Ian came to YMCA Nightstop in North Somerset, a project funded by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund and gives young people aged 16-25 emergency accommodation when they have nowhere else to go.

Ian was quickly assessed to see whether he would be best placed in Nightstop accommodation and although he admitted to having problems with alcohol and cannabis abuse, it was agreed Ian should be placed, so long as he could meet the expectations. Ian needed to abstain from alcohol and drugs whilst on his placement, meet with his key worker every day, and return to the host’s house and spend each evening. Ian’s social worker and housing officer both agreed that Ian was capable of maintaining this agreement, and could be the opportunity he needed.

The Nightstop hosts were very happy with the support package for Ian and welcomed him into their home. Ian was able to shower and clean his clothes, something which he hadn’t been able to do for days before. The hosts gave Ian a stable, positive home environment where he had the space and security to make the changes he needed to make in his life.

Ian worked hard, attending daily support sessions, engaging with an alcohol and substance misuse service and saw made the steps to address issues he had long been battling. His mental health began to improve, as Ian worked to rebuild a relationship with his brother and spent more time with friends who had a positive impact on his life.

Ian’s key worker at Nightstop and his housing offer monitored him closely for a week, he managed to stay sober and within two weeks, was being assessed and offered new accommodation. They offered Ian continuing support and referrals to helpful programmes which would ensure he stayed sober and kept him on the right track.

Without Nightstop, Ian might not have been able to get back on his feet. Having a safe place to stay at night as well as the correct support and opportunities, Ian was given the foundations to rebuild his life, his confidence, and most importantly the belief in himself.