Supported Lodgings providers offer a room in their house and support with life skills to young people facing homelessness for a period of between six and twelve months.
This model helps young people facing homelessness to learn to live independently in a safe and supportive environment.
Young people accessing the Supported Lodgings scheme pay rent and learn the skills they need to live independently in their own property when the placement comes to an end. These skills include things like doing washing and learning to cook and budget.
“I started out as a Nightstop host, offering my spare bedroom for a night at a time to young people facing homelessness. After I had hosted a few people, I decided to apply to be a Supported Lodgings provider.
“Leanne* moved in with my son and I, and has been on the Supported Lodgings scheme for around six months.
“I really enjoy providing support, it’s been an interesting experience. I’m grateful to be in a place where I’m able to share some of my skills with the young person staying with us, and teach her about cooking, cleaning, budgeting and time management.
“Some of the ways that I support Leanne* are less practical – I also try to help build positive values like self-respect. I provide a safe and trusted environment in which Leanne* can come to me to share her day. If she’s had a bad day, I can support her through it.
“I work as a team with the staff at Depaul UK, involving Leanne* in how things are run in the house. I seek her opinion and listen to her. We even spend quality time doing arts and crafts. We watch a lot of TV together – everything from the news, to Judge Judy! There is mutual respect and we have effective communication, which I think are the ingredients for success. Leanne*, my guest, has been respectful and focused on her goals – she had a great work ethic.
“When Leanne* first came to live in my house, she had never done any cooking. It’s an important skill for living independently, so it was one of the first things we tackled. We talked about health and safety first and food hygiene, then we went to the supermarket and shopped together, looking for healthy and economical ingredients.
“Leanne* started off helping me with meals, but to my surprise she was cooking her own meals within just a few weeks – she picked it up very quickly and I was really impressed.
“When she moved in, we added Leanne* to our family cleaning rota, so she’s been actively involved in keeping the place clean and tidy and learning the skills she’ll need to live on her own.
“The transformation that I’ve seen in Leanne* makes it all worth it. Supported Lodgings is a really important option that helps young people at risk of homelessness to find the confidence and character they need to thrive. Working with her Depaul UK Support Worker, I’ve been able to help Leanne start her adult life with the right foundations. Now, when she finds a place of her own, she won’t feel she’s been thrown in at the deep end.”
*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the Supported Lodgings provider and the young person who stayed with them.