There are a number of ways you can get to a volunteer’s home. Either by using local buses, trains, taxi, or a volunteer driver or Nightstop worker will come and pick you up and take you there. This will be arranged for you.
When you arrive at the host’s home you will be shown your room, offered a cup of tea or coffee and then you can chat to the hosts or spend some time in your room. In the evening you can go out, or you could stay in and watch TV. The idea is to make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
All local Nightstop volunteer hosts have been trained before they become volunteers. They will not ask you questions about your situation, but will be there to talk to you if you want to. They will tell you about any house rules, for example where you can and cannot go in the house. Most important of all, they are all very friendly and just want to help you.
You can go out after you have arrived at the host’s home. The hosts will discuss with you what time you will need to be back in. If you stay with friends some nights while you are using Nightstop, it won’t affect your chances of getting into longer-term housing, but please let your host know if you’re not coming back one evening.
You will have your own bedroom that only you can use. You can go there at any time during your stay, if you need to be alone and you need your own space.
The hosts will ask you what food you like, and do not like. They will provide you with an evening meal and breakfast the next morning and meals are provided free.
You can have baths or showers and get any laundry done for free. Hosts also have free toiletries you can have like shampoo, shower gel, shaving foam etc. They sometimes also have new socks and underwear you can keep.
Local Nightstop hosts receive training to help them understand the needs of homeless people. If you discuss your needs with the Nightstop worker at the start or when you get to the host’s home they will do their best to help with your request.
That depends on the local Nightstop service. You may be able to stay with the same hosts for 1 to 5 nights, if you need more nights accommodation, you may be able to stay with a different host.
Homeless people staying at Nightstop houses usually go out during the day. You can’t stay in your Nightstop house on your own if the host is out, but you can go out yourself – just agree with your host a time you will come back in. They don’t give out keys. Stay in touch with your advice worker each day who will be supporting you towards longer term housing, or helping you with getting a job or into training.
Nightstop can sometimes help with a lift to your Nightstop house or maybe to college the next day, but we cannot always do this at exactly the time you need it. You may need to let your college or job know that you might be late.