- Youth homelessness charity SASH face 56% drop in available hosts due to coronavirus shielding
- SASH house young people aged 16-25 facing homeless and sofa-surfing, often described as ‘hidden homeless’
- Operations at SASH have continued throughout the pandemic
Homeless charity, SASH (Safe And Sound Homes) are looking for members of the public across North and East Yorkshire to become hosts, welcoming local young people at risk of homelessness into their homes after many of their current hosts have had to step back due to health concerns throughout the coronavirus pandemic. SASH continued to operate throughout 2020, providing vital safety and stability for young people living in precarious situations who have already faced much disruption and abuse in their young lives. Now facing a 56% drop in the number of available hosts across all areas, the organisation is urgently seeking to recruit and train new hosts to continue providing their vital homelessness services.
SASH’s youth homelessness prevention services rely on members of the public, known as hosts, who open up their homes to vulnerable young people declared homeless and referred to SASH from Local Authorities and Housing Associations. SASH hosts come from all walks of life and providing they have a spare room and a genuine desire to help, could provide a lifeline for a local young person with nowhere to stay. Hosts can provide their support for either short-term or longer-term stays, receiving full training and around-the-clock support from their dedicated SASH worker. All young people seeking SASH’s support receive a Police National Computer check, a thorough risk assessment and COVID-19 health check before being accepted and carefully matched with an available host. Hosts also receive payments to cover all expenses associated with hosting a young person in their homes.
David, 57, is based in Harrogate and has been hosting for 3 years:
My motivation for [for becoming a host] came partly from the fact that I’ve got a room that lies empty, partly because of my faith as a Christian.” He shared his experiences of hosting during the pandemic: “In the run up to lockdown, things looked bleak, my lodger had just secured a job at a well-known hotel in York, only to be told the job was on hold, with no certainty that there would be one at the end of all this. In different ways lockdown was good for us both as we helped each other through it without really realising that we were.
It was a pleasure was to be sharing my home with my lodger, as during the day there was an actual person to talk to, which was really important to me as I live on my own. My lodger now has a job a Morrison’s and is doing very well, his confidence and sense of well-being has increased exponentially during lockdown. The support I get from SASH is very good indeed.
Andrew and Ali, both 54, are SASH hosts based in York who have been hosting for nearly two years:
We had thought about being SASH hosts for a while and when we moved to a bigger house, we realised that this was the moment. Sometimes there are challenges but seeing our lodger blossom is amazing. You can’t put a price on it.
SASH support us as hosts as well as guiding the young people. Together we make a difference.
To find out more about hosting for SASH, follow the link and fill in the short form to receive a call back from a local Host Coordinator with more information on the role. Alternatively, give SASH a call on 01904 652 043