Supported Lodgings: Steph's* story | Depaulcharity

Supported Lodgings: Steph's* story | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Supported Lodgings: Steph's* story

By Steph* - 16 May 2019

 

Supported Lodgings providers offer an important service, taking in a young person at risk of homelessness for up to twelve months, and teaching them how to live independently. Sheffield Supported Lodgings provider Steph* shares her experiences:

 

I’ve been a Supported Lodgings provider for Depaul UK in Sheffield since December 2018. 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.

 

With Nightstop, you help a young person in crisis for a night or two at a time. With Supported Lodgings, they stay with you for much longer – up to 12 months – and you teach the young people who stay with you about living independently. The idea is that when they leave, they will have the skills and confidence to live independently and run a home.

 

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, designing lovely cards and writing out motivational cards that we can share with friends and family.

 

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.

 

Supported Lodgings is a brilliant opportunity to make a real difference to young people who haven’t had the best start in life. If you’ve got a spare bedroom and an open mind, you could make a difference just like I do. I’ve had great support from the team at Depaul UK, and there’s always someone on the end of the phone to help if I’m unsure about anything.

 

*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the Supported Lodgings provider and the young person who stayed with them.

 

If you're interested in finding our more about becoming a Supported Lodgings provider in Sheffield, get in touch with Amy Smith on 0114 2787152 or amy.smith@depaulcharity.org.uk. 

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