Help the homeless of St Albans this Christmas with the Love Herts appeal
- Credit: Archant
A significant increase in homelessness in St Albans has led to a plea for the public to help from the Love Herts appeal.
Backed by the Herts Ad, the campaign was started by Hertfordshire Community Foundation to support charities like Herts Young Homeless (HYH) over the festive period.
After finding herself without education, proper training or a home, 16-year-old St Albans resident Clare (a pseudonym) approached HYH for help.
She said: “With the help and support from HYH, I was able to stop ‘sofa-surfing’, and receive the safety and stability I really needed.
“It also meant I was able to continue with my apprenticeship and move into a hostel in a planned way.
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“I learned how to budget and support myself, and my relationship with my family has also improved.”
Hertfordshire’s homeless problem has been rising since 2011/12, most dramatically in Broxbourne, Dacorum, Hertsmere, and St Albans.
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HYH helps around 220 people each month to access housing and support.
Chief executive Helen Elliott said: “We offer a variety of free services, from education in schools and family mediation through to supporting 16 to 24-year-olds in their first homes, or caring for adults who have mental health issues and housing needs.
“Demand for our services is increasing, but we are delighted to have had the support of HCF which has generously given funds to support our emergency accommodation service Nightstop Herts and our involvement project for ex-service users, iPro.”
Director of Hertfordshire Community Foundation Helen Gray said: “Being forced to sleep rough or ‘sofa surf’ can be one of the most frightening experiences of a young adult’s life.
“Without appropriate support, their mental wellbeing can be affected and they can become trapped in a cycle of homelessness.
“This is why Hertfordshire Community Foundation, a countywide charity that supports local organisations and groups, is calling on local residents to ‘give where you live’ this Christmas.”
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/hertscf/loveherts or send a cheque payable to ‘Hertfordshire Community Foundation’ to Foundation House, 2-4 Forum Place, Fiddlebridge Lane, Hatfield Herts AL10 0RN.