We urgently need your help to keep young people at risk of homelessness safe tonight. 

Hear from Depaul UK’s Executive Director of Services, Nicola Harwood.

This winter, there will be thousands of young people in the UK with no safe place to live or regular bed to sleep in. Sadly, we’ve already seen a staggering 30 percent increase this year in the use of our emergency accommodation service, Nightstop. 

Lack of affordable housing, soaring rents, and unaffordable bills often leads to family conflict and breakdown, just one of the many reasons a young person might find themselves alone and without a home. Some are visible on the streets, but more often their homelessness is hidden. And so are the dangers. 

The young people we see do their best to look after themselves: turning to friends for a place to bed down, accepting an offer from someone they may only just have met, or simply finding ways to stay up through the nights – riding on buses or socialising at night just for somewhere to be. But living like this poses extraordinary risks. Exhausted, uncertain, and with limited options, they are easy targets for abuse and exploitation. 

This is why, today, I am making an urgent appeal to you for donations to keep young people at risk of homelessness, safe and off the streets this winter. 

Nightstop is our emergency accommodation service. It relies on trained and vetted volunteer hosts to welcome young people into their homes. Within hours of a call to us, Nightstop can provide a safe bed, a hot meal, and a listening ear for a young person who might otherwise have spent the night in an unsafe place.  

Jasmine, a student from the northeast, had nowhere to go after an argument with a family member meant she had to move out. She said: “I slept in my car for nearly a week and had to spend my tight budget on basic survival things like a blanket, bottled water, wet wipes, and a glass so I could brush my teeth. I was at breaking point”. 

Thankfully, Jasmine was quickly placed in the home of a trained and vetted Nightstop host for as long as she needed: “When I left my host’s house, I felt like nothing I could do would be good enough to thank them. I can’t explain the impact it had on my life and could have on someone else’s”. 

In 2021/2022, 129,000 16–25-year-olds presented at their local authority as homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Your donation could secure the first step towards breaking the cycle: a safe place to sleep 

Research shows that the impact of Nightstop goes far beyond just a safe place to spend the night. It improves young people’s health and wellbeing, increases their motivation and optimism for the future, improves relationships with family and engagement with education, training, and employment.  

 Please help us to provide a safe place for a young person tonight.  

Even a small donation could protect a young person’s future. 

  • £4 could pay for a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • £8 could pay for travel costs to a host’s home 
  • £15 could cover a host’s expenses for the night
  • £21 could pay for a fresh set of clothes

 Thank you. 

Nicola Harwood 

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