Blog post contribution from Jonathan Crust, YMCA Black Country
As we approach Christmas, we are reminded of the chaotic and traumatic circumstances that a teenage mother to be – Mary found herself in. Having fled from the tyrannical King Herod, she had nobody to help, nowhere to go and she ended up giving birth to Jesus in a stable. In this season of goodwill, I wonder how many people today would have willingly spared a thought and provided a safe place for a heavily pregnant Mary.
Reflecting on some of our own current local issues, there are hundreds of young people across the Black Country who every year experience family breakdown and also find themselves with nowhere to stay. Whilst nobody would extend help to Mary, here within the Black Country there are some amazing and truly remarkable people who are opening up their homes to help young people who would otherwise be roofless.
Having recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary, YMCA Open Door provides ‘Host placements’ for young people who have experienced family breakdown. There are over 80 YMCA Hosts who use their spare room to provide a homely environment for young people aged between 16-18 who provide either ‘emergency Nighstop’ or longer-term ‘Supported Lodgings’. YMCA is seeking to recruit more Hosts to provide safe places for young people. Do you have a spare room and a caring heart? Please consider if you could provide a homely environment for a young person who has nowhere to go. All Hosts receive over £100pw, full training from the YMCA and support from a dedicated project worker.
To find out more visit www.ymcabc.org.uk/hosts