Help find homes for youths

CHARITY chiefs are desperately appealing for householders to help young people in need of a home.

A Supported Lodgings Scheme run by Barnardo’s in Hartlepool is aiming to find homes for youngsters aged 16 to 24 who need a period of stability.

The charity is appealing for people with a spare room and a willingness to provide board, meals and some emotional support for these youngsters to come forward and help desperate youngsters.

People who get involved in the scheme will receive £210 a week and must live within 20 miles of Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Charity chiefs say the young people who are in need of a stable place to live could be homeless, in temporary accommodation or “sofa surfing” where they move around staying with people for short periods.

They say that anyone willing to help would be giving these young people a chance to succeed and lots of other opportunities they may not otherwise have.

Leigh Kane, of Hartlepool Barnardo’s, is co-ordinating the service.

She said: “We try to match up the young person and the provider as best we can, and we’re always honest about any issues that the provider needs to know about.

“Of course, they’re all still young. They’re like all other young people in that they need to be able to continue to make the mistakes that all youngsters make and have someone to pick up the pieces.”

Anyone interested will firstly be subject to a home visit where a project member will discuss the scheme and all the issues involved.

This is followed by police checks then an assessment.

Finally, the project bosses and social services will evaluate potential providers.

Ms Kane added: “In this current economic climate this could be a good opportunity for someone needing a lodger, but who wants to do something really worthwhile in the community.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Supported Lodgings Scheme or in having an informal chat can contact Leigh Kane at Barnardo’s B76 project on (01429) 424222.