A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
A couple of weeks ago at the Enfield Show I was chatting briefly to the team
from Depaul UK, Britain's biggest youth homelessness charity, about Enfield Lodgings the innovative scheme to help homeless young people get back on track. Meghan Read from De Paul has been in touch with more information about the project.
Depaul UK is seeking generous members of the public in Enfield who can spare a room and help change the life of a young person.
Depaul UK’s Enfield Lodgings scheme responds to the recent rise in youth homelessness, and the lack of affordable safe housing in London by asking you to open your home at heart.
According to Government statistics, homelessness rose by 10% nationally last year, and in London by 8%. More than a third of homeless people in the UK are aged between 16 and 24.
The project supports local families or individuals to help young people who are not yet confident to live completely independently. Hosts offer a spare room within their house to a young person for a period of six months to two years. They receive regular supervision, ongoing support and monthly rent.
Angela, recently become a host, and speaks about her experiences:
“I grew up in a happy home mostly because of my mother. She had so much love to give, and took in young people that needed help. I decided that once my children were grown up I wanted to do something similar and help my community.
I heard about Enfield Lodgings at work, and thought I could do that; and then filled out the forms from the Depaul UK website. Soon Meghan, the London Supported Lodgings manager, came to visit me at my house to answer my questions and interview me. I passed the assessment and went on the training course, which was spot on. We learnt about how important it was to help a young person feel safe, and Meghan really opened my eyes to all the problems out there that young people face.
I was a bit anxious before the young person arrived, I didn’t know what to expect, but when Anna walked in I knew it was going to be alright. She is a lovely young lady and really gelled with the family. She is already very independent, but knows she can talk to me if she has any problems. We all have dinners together sometimes, and we both really love spicy food! I am from the West Indies, and she is from Columbia so we talk a lot about recipes and she likes to watch me cook.
She really feels like part of our family and hosting has worked out so well, that I am hoping to keep doing it for many years to come!”
We would love to hear from people who can help us in any way; whether offering a room, putting up a poster for us, or inviting us to talk to their group or workplace. We need as much help as we can to tell people about this project and the life-changing rewards you can gain by being involved.
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