Carl's Story

Nightstop piloting extended stays based on need

Carl, 18, was referred to Nightstop by a Bradford-based educational support agency focused on minority communities. His reason for being homeless was eviction from the family home in the week before Christmas after the relationship with his Father had become strained. He was placed on Nightstop over the Christmas and New Year period, staying with 6 different hosts – one French-speaking and able to communicate with Carl in his main language, another a practising Christian couple with whom Carl was able to celebrate Mass on Christmas Day. He has been described by hosts as 'good-natured', 'polite, grateful' and 'not a problem at all'. Carl has remarked to a host that when he is able, one day he would like to be a volunteer Nightstop host himself.


An extended Nightstop stay was crucial for Carl. Over the age of 18, then without recourse to public funds and in need over the Christmas/New Year period when some services are closed, alternative solutions such as Centerpoint (Bradford youth hostel) were closed off to Carl. Without Nightstop rough sleeping was a real possibility. Nightstop has provided respite and allowed the young person's benefits application including an appeal to be processed, as well as providing peace of mind for his QED worker on leave over Christmas. In addition, with some certainty over his short-term accommodation, Thomas was able to continue his work placement at a local gym where he successfully worked towards and secured a 12-month apprenticeship - whilst staying on Nightstop. 


With the young person's future income now known, as well as realistic local private sector rental rates, Nightstop worked with the young person on his budgeting skills before assisting with a property search in the local area. Nightstop also signposted and referred Carl to a partnering organisation in the city who provide financial assistance with bonds and up-front rent payments. They were able to offer help and give Carl the hand-up needed to realise his own goal of having an apartment to call home. In addition Nightstop has forged new partnerships with two local food banks and issued Carl with vouchers.


If Carl can maintain his income, sustain his tenancy and remain in good physical and mental health, he is a perfect example of why early intervention is required to prevent a downward spiral into entrenched homelessness - and why Nightstop is an often vital part of such intervention.