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HA's pillow talk spreads homelessness message

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

HA's pillow talk spreads homelessness message HA's pillow talk spreads homelessness message

A housing association has distributed over 200 pillows with eye-catching messages on across park benches and doorways.

Knightstone Housing's staff teamed up with young tenants from its supported housing in Yeovil to deliver the campaign aimed at raising awareness of youth homelessness in the area.

The pillows had messages such as 'Can you offer a real bed tonight?’ and ‘Your spare room is a lifeline’ written on them.

Knightstone is part of a Somerset-wide partnership called 'Pathways to Independence' (P2i), which works to prevent homelessness amongst 16-24 year olds.

One of the main services offered by P2i is emergency accommodation for young people, in the homes of approved host families.

A young person is given safe accommodation for a few nights, a meal and access to wash facilities, while Knightstone arranges mediation with family members, or a more permanent place for them to stay.

Knightstone's assistant director for supported housing, Sonia Furzland, said: "We launched this #sleepsafe campaign in Yeovil to make people aware of the part they can play to help us help vulnerable young people who find themselves facing homelessness.

"By working with hosts who provide crucial, emergency accommodation, we can prevent a young person from finding themselves in the vulnerable situation of sleeping rough.

"If you have a spare room that you can offer to a young person for just a night or two, and think you might be interested in becoming an Emergency Accommodation Host, get in touch with us to find out more."

Steve Doherty, 22, was living in a tent before he came to the P2i service.

He said: “The best thing about staying with a host family was that you got a sense of normality. I’d been away from my family and friends for so long that I was very, very lonely, very, very miserable. Mitch and Liesa were so friendly and warm. They let me in their house to watch TV with them at night, have dinner with them…It was just like being part of a family again, which was a really, really lovely thing.”

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