She was petrified, because she was coming to live with a stranger

I’d thought about fostering previously, but it felt like a step too far. Then I saw a police documentary, there was a young boy who was 18. They found him sleeping on a bench. They tried desperately to get him in a hostel but the first two they went to couldn’t take him. He just looked at the camera and said ‘nobody cares’ and he walked off. I got so upset that this poor lad had nowhere and nobody.

So that’s when I started thinking about it all again. I’d seen an advert for Centrepoint, but that was just London, so I looked for Supported Lodgings locally and found SASH.

When I told people I was doing this they said I was mad, that they would pinch my stuff, trash my house. I thought I’d give them the benefit of the doubt, and if it leads to that then I’ll learn from it. But everything that people said would happen didn’t. It’s been a lovely experience. The young person I have is delightful, very well spoken. She’s just a pleasure to be around.

The first time I met her she was terrified. She didn’t come across as being scared, she came across as being really confident, but afterwards she told me she was petrified of coming round, because she was coming to live with a stranger, and she was upset that she was in that position. But she said ‘I knew as soon as I saw you that it was going to be alright’.

The hardest thing has been the emotional ups and downs. But through talking to her, she’s making real progress and she’s getting the help that she needs. It’s been difficult, but also really rewarding seeing her make progress. The best bit has been seeing her improve. She’s only 17, but she’s going to college, she’s got a job and we’re now talking about university,

If there wasn’t SASH for her, I honestly don’t know what she would be doing. She was living with someone but it wasn’t a healthy place for her to be. She wouldn’t have got a job or been going to college.

I would definitely recommend this to others. What keeps me going is that whenever we have a down we have an up. She’s always making progress. She was very vulnerable when she started, but she’s improving all the time. If  I have any problems, I can just pick up the phone and have a chat with my support worker at SASH, so I get all the support I need. It’s more rewarding than I thought it would be.

Thinking about hosting?

We are always looking for more hosts! If you have a spare room and want to help young people facing homelessness, please get in touch.

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