Stop Over + for runaways

PUBLISHED: 04:51 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:05 24 May 2010

HOMELESS youngsters are being given a second chance under a new emergency accommodation scheme for North Somerset. About 20 young people a month leave home and turn up at The Town Hall asking for help. A new scheme launches this week providing seven day

HOMELESS youngsters are being given a second chance under a new emergency accommodation scheme for North Somerset.About 20 young people a month leave home and turn up at The Town Hall asking for help. A new scheme launches this week providing seven day accommodation to give runaways a chance to cool off and return home or find proper digs.The scheme, called Stop Over +, is already up and running in Bristol and Wells and is being launched in North Somerset by a committee led by North Somerset Council's housing chief Councillor Isabel Cummings.Committee member Gary Twinn said: "There's an amazing lack of housing support for young single people who have fallen out with their parents and feel they can't go back. Most don't have a health issue and are only entitled to £55 per week in benefits."They are likely to end up in grotty bedsits or hostels with unscrupulous landlords where they may be tempted by drugs or alcohol and slide down the slippery slope."If we don't get it right when they are young, society ends up picking up the pieces."The scheme, which has the full backing of the council, gives these young people up to seven days and nights to better their situation. A third to a half end up going home if given time to cool off."The only emergency accommodation in Weston is at Christmas."We have 15 properties ready to accept young people, but we aim to have 50 on our books."We want to hear from people who have experience with young people and prepared to consider offering temporary accommodation for up to seven nights. "We also need people to help with telephone support. Out of pocket expenses will be paid."For more details call 01934 617617 or 514614.

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