Families wanted to help homeless teenagers with temporary accommodation

Pippa Green, Sussex Nightstop Service Manager with Ivan Mainprize, Vice President, American Express
Pippa Green, Sussex Nightstop Service Manager with Ivan Mainprize, Vice President, American Express

A charity for young homeless people, Sussex Nightstop, has been awarded a £4,000 grant from American Express, the largest private sector employer in Brighton and Hove, after applying for funding via Sussex Community Foundation.

A ‘Nightstop’ is emergency accommodation provided by a trained host volunteer from the community, who has a spare room in their home that they make available free of charge.

The funding from American Express will help Sussex Nightstop expand its programme to Horsham, Haywards Heath and Crawley where there is a growing need for host families and volunteers to come forward and provide young people aged 16-17 with a more suitable and safe alternative to temporary hostel accommodation.

Ivan Mainprize, Vice President at American Express said: “We believe in supporting the local communities in which we live and work. Every young person deserves the opportunity to realise their potential. Projects like Sussex Nightstop help reduce youth homelessness by catching young people before they end up on the streets.”

Pippa Green, Sussex Nightstop Service Manager, said: “Youth Homelessness is a national problem, with young people being forced to leave home for many different reasons. At Sussex Nightstop, we recruit and train volunteer hosts that have a spare room and a social conscience. Host volunteers provide much more than a bed and a decent meal, they provide reassurance and hope for the future. We see a spare room as an opportunity to change a life.

“Since launching in 2010 we are well established across Brighton and Hove. The support received from American Express will enable us to recruit and train host families in areas like Horsham, Haywards Heath and Crawley where we’re looking for willing hosts for the programme.”

Sussex Nightstop is working with volunteer hosts to offer extended placements of between two to four weeks, to allow young people to maintain their education or work. Over this time, through the support of youth workers and family mediators, their on-going needs can be addressed, to identify suitable longer-term accommodation or return them home.

For more information about becoming a host visit www.sussexnightstop.org.uk