“It was just a relief that there were people who cared.”
Joe, 21, was living with his partner when they broke up. It was his girlfriend’s house and she told him to leave, so he was suddenly made homeless. Joe has moved around a lot, and had no friends or family in the area to turn to. The council referred him to SASH, and Joe ended up spending 11 nights at the home of a Nightstop host.
We asked Joe how it felt to go to a complete stranger’s for the night. “I was really nervous. I didn’t feel unsafe, but cautious.” he says. “I knew they could be trusted because of the precautions that Nightstop take. Everyone was really welcoming; they didn’t make me feel like a stranger. It was a relief.”
How did Nightstop help? “It gave me a breathing space, time to spend looking for a shared let. My host was really supportive as well. It gave me a chance to relax a bit during a really stressful time. I’d split up with my partner, lost my home, had nowhere to go so it was just a relief that there were people who cared.”
The time Joe was able to spend searching for accommodation, knowing he had a safe and welcoming place to stay at night, was crucial to enabling him find his own place. It helped to ensure that his problems did not escalate, that he regained his independence and that his homelessness ended after a relatively short period rather than being the start of a long-term problem.
Joe is now safely settled in his own place, a shared let he found by searching online. What does he think he would he have done without Nightstop? “I honestly don’t have a clue,” he says “I had no one that could help.”