Nightstop to Provide Lifeline for Vulnerable Young People

Mon 12th September 2016

The Simon Community has officially launched their Nightstop project which is being supported by the Rangers Charity Foundation this season and has announced additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund which will help the project to reach vulnerable young people in Glasgow.

The city’s young people who are facing the prospect of sleeping rough on the streets will instead be provided with an emergency bed for the night in the home of a volunteer rather than in a homeless hostel thanks to this innovative scheme.

The Simon Community Scotland made the announcement as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this month and will now begin the work of setting up a network of beds in people’s spare rooms, throughout Glasgow, giving young person access to a private room with a welcoming volunteer host for up to three nights.

The hope is that, during that time, Simon Community Scotland staff can assist the young person to find a more long-term solution to whatever circumstances have brought them to the brink of homelessness.

Hill, Director of Services at Simon Community Scotland, commented:

“The decision to sleep rough is a huge one; however, once someone has slept rough once, the decision to sleep rough again is a much easier one. So, it’s vital to stop rough sleeping before it has begun.

“The reasons why young people end up homeless are varied.  Most commonly, it’s a breakdown in the relationship at home and sometimes a cooling-off period allows staff to support the family to reconnect and talk through their issues.

“Sometimes, the young person is escaping violence or abuse. Or is facing issues concerning their sexuality.

“The Nightstop concept has been hugely successful in other parts of the country and we’re excited about the opportunity to deliver a safe, compassionate and homely alternative to potentially risky options elsewhere.”

Nightstop Glasgow is due to start operating from December and the Simon Community Scotland anticipates the service will, over its first three years, prevent 120 young people from sleeping rough or spending the night in an adult shelter.

The call is being made for the people of Glasgow to join the Nightstop network, by offering up any spare rooms they have in their homes and becoming a Nightstop host.

Before a host can provide a room, a full training, support and vetting exercise is undertaken by Simon Community Scotland staff.

The Foundation is supporting this important new initiative by holding three sponsored Sleep Outs at Ibrox Stadium to raise funds for the project, as well as for Glasgow City Mission’s the Evening Drop-in service and the Foundation’s own work in the community.

Foundation Director Connal Cochrane commented, “This is a great new initiative which targets a very vulnerable group and we are delighted to offer our support.

“Glasgow has the highest concentration of young people who are homeless in Scotland and an average of 15 young people sleep rough every month in the city.

“We hope our Big Ibrox Sleeps Outs, which were hugely successful last year and raised £70,000, will help to make these shocking statistics a thing of the past.”

You can find out more about the Big Ibrox Sleep Outs and how you can help the Foundation support Nightstop here.

If you are interested in becoming a Nightstop Glasgow volunteer and have a spare room, you can contact the Simon Community’s Pauline Hannigan on 0141 418 6980.


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