Take on the challenge to SLEEP OUT (or in!) for homeless young people

Date: Friday 20th November 2020 | Time: from 7pm | Fundraising Target: £100… and up!

#SleepOut

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WHAT TO EXPECT

We’re asking everyone who takes part in the SLEEP OUT challenge to raise £100 and up if you can. This could help pay for four nights in a warm, safe room for a homeless young person, where they will be given the support they urgently need.

If you’re in need of inspiration, our free Fundraising Pack is full of great ideas and fundraising tips! However you SLEEP OUT your support could help a homeless young person change their life for the better.

As this is a virtual event, you can take part and join in wherever you are! Whether you’re taking part solo, or as part of a team, we hope you have a great #SleepOut

For fundraising inspiration or general questions about the Sleep Out event please visit the Resources section of this site.  

WHAT WILL THE MONEY I RAISE/ DONATE BE SPENT ON?

The money you raise* or kindly donate will help support young homeless people into safe homes of their own this Christmas. Below are just a few examples of what your support could mean:

*Just Giving will pay  the total money raised direct to End Youth Homelessness

£20

could provide an hour of support with a resettlement worker to help a young person move into their new home

£50

could provide an emergency personal care kit, including clothes, shampoo, a toothbrush and clean towel

£200

could help a young person to fund ‘homely touches’ for their new property to make it feel like home

£400

could help with a range of household appliances that will enable a young person to become independent

£1,800

could place one young person into a safe home of their own

Youth Homeless: The challenges and the stories

The impact of Covid-19 has not just been a public crisis, it has led to a socio economic one too, and in times of crisis, inequality grows and some communities can be left behind. This pandemic is no different and has shone a light on the issue of homelessness.

 Young people become homeless every day for everyday reasons; because family life is hard and the odds are stacked against them. Young people can be forced out of the family home for reasons including: domestic violence; they or a parent could be struggling with mental health issues or substance misuse or families may not accept their sexuality.  With limited means and no support networks, young people struggle with mental health, unable to get a job or find a safe place to live.

Rough sleeping is incredibly dangerous: this scarring experience can severely damage a young person’s physical and mental health.  Young people are not only exposed to the elements but also to violence and sexual exploitation.  Some young people ride night buses through the night because they have nowhere safe to sleep.

The impact of these realities will have a lasting effect unless we come together and act now. Homelessness is something they experience, but it shouldn’t define their lives.  With the right opportunities and support, homeless young people can turn their lives around and build successful futures.

By taking part in the SLEEP OUT challenge you will be raising much needed funds for End Youth Homelessness to help young people like Jen, Elliot and Charlotte find a safe, secure home and experience a brighter future.

Jen's story

When Jen’s personal circumstances changed for the worse, she and her baby daughter turned to sofa surfing, desperate for a safe place to live. Jen was due to move into a caravan park offered by a friend, but when COVID-19 hit the nation, the park shut down, leaving her with nowhere else to go.

“The stress was unbelievable and the uncertainty was horrible – especially because I also had my little girl to think of. I just felt so guilty that we had nowhere to go.”

Jen heard that EYH’s Rent Deposit Scheme, delivered in her local EYH charity, would be able to give her the support she needed.

“Once I found a property with the help of a support worker, it all moved really quickly. They helped me to sort all the paperwork and they were able to guarantee the rent deposit, which meant I was able to get the property.”

“I’m so happy – it’s another thing that’s off my back. The scheme has also helped me to buy things like furniture and bedding.”

Elliot's story

A broken home environment is one of the key causes of youth homelessness. Elliot and his girlfriend know this all too well. The EYH Housing Fund helped the pair to escape homelessness and gave them a place to call home, from which they have started to turn their lives around.

Circumstances in Elliott’s family home had been difficult for many years before he and his girlfriend found themselves homeless.

Witnessing a cycle of domestic violence, and drug and alcohol abuse had severely damaged family relationships and eventually resulted in eviction. The family split and, aged just 17 and still in education, Elliott felt he had no support and nowhere to turn. The pair ended up ‘sofa surfing' – relying on the generosity of friends to put a roof over their heads.

Through the Housing Fund, Elliott and his girlfriend were given the support they needed to overcome the barriers that were holding them back from accessing safe and secure accommodation.

"We went through so much; things had been horrible, so finally having this support gave us such a good feeling! We had constantly been turned away from people who couldn't help us - then to meet somebody who helped us within the first meeting was amazing."

Their journey has been difficult, but they are delighted that life has finally taken a positive turn.

By supporting our Housing Fund, you can help us support more vulnerable young people like Elliott out of the darkness of homelessness, and give them the bright future they deserve.

Charlotte's story

Charlotte’s father left when she was young and her mother struggled with alcoholism. She had a volatile childhood and eventually at 17, her mother gave up their tenancy and moved away without Charlotte, leaving her homeless. Charlotte sofa-surfed for some time before being referred to her local EYH charity by the council.

Here, a Housing Support Officer was able to secure a very low-rent flat through a partner private landlord who was willing to accept security bonds from the charity in place of cash deposits. Charlotte had a full time job in retail but her low income meant she would need a flatmate to share with in order to make the cost of living there viable.

Luckily, Charlotte was pleased at the idea of sharing her new home and her Housing Officer set up meetings with several young people to find a good fit.

When Charlotte met David, they immediately bonded. They met multiple times on their own, and then decided to try living together. Since moving in to her new flat with David, Charlotte’s mental health has significantly improved.

Charlotte and David have made the flat their own and continue to get on incredibly well, even introducing each other to their friends, widening their support networks. With space away from the effects of her mother’s alcoholism, Charlotte’s relationship with her has begun to improve, and she is finally optimistic about the future.

*please note names and images have been changed to protect these young people