Helping those in need.. 360 Kids Nightstop program

Posted Friday, January 13th, 2017. Filed Under My Daily Dose

I really loved this story in my local paper about a family that wants to help teens who have no where to go when they get into fight with their parents or just need to go somewhere for the night or have been told don’t come home tonight. The best alternative is to find a place to crash for the night at a friend’s place. In many cases though, this is not the case. Teens find themselves searching for a place to stay with the options being frigid makeshift shelters to drop-ins where people are robbed for a few dollars.

Thank goodness for people like Same and Stephanie Fronte and programs like 360Kids and Nightstop. The Fronte’s have signed up to be a host family with the new Nightstop program being launched in York Region of the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. 360Kids have partnered with Uk_based Depaul Charity to be the first Nightstop provider in North America, offering screened and trained volunteers with a spare bed to young people with no where else to go.

The organization is seeking families who can help provide this safety net – for one night or several – that keeps out off the street or away from suitable accommodations where they would be at risk of abuse. With help of the federal funding, families who sign up to be Nightstop hosts receive renumeration to assist with expenses.

The UK now offers 630 homes across the UK, In 2015, those homes provided 13,500 “safe sleeps” to young people.

Each youth spends on average seven to eight nights at a Nightstop while the agency helps to find longterm solutions to their housing troubles. The program has been tried and tested by the UK organization to ensure it’s safe for everyone.

Jacquie Hermans, 360Kids Nightstop program coordinator, estimates 300 youth are seeking a place to stay in the York region every night. 306Kids provides 14 emergency beds at The Hub in Richmond Hill but there are no vacancies since the facility opened in May 2016.

It is programs like this which are remarkable and can make the difference in a teen’s life. Most of the hidden homeless are good kids in bad circumstances. They are often not dangerous kids, they get a bad rap. These are kids that generally cannot go home.

It really makes a difference for a teen which should be growing and learning rather than just surviving.

It’s people like the Fronte’s who offer youth the opportunity for a safe and cared for environment.

Hopefully others will read this and some will get involved. With my friend’s kids we have an open door policy. I have had my son’s friends stay here for a cooling off period and I have friends who offer the same to my child. It really does take a village to raise a child.


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