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Two 17 year olds sleeping rough- please help me help them

(14 Posts)
Hayls Wed 23-Feb-05 10:35:24

I work with young people doing training and have two boys who have had a variety of problems at home and have both now been kicked out. They've slept the past few nights on the streets (in the snow and have nowhere to stay tonight either. I really feel for them and have been close to tears about it but I'm not sure how much I can do. The Council have been little help- because they're under 18 they need a guarantor and neither parent will sign it. They may be able to get a B+B but are both very scared about the type of people they might come across there. They are in touch with Shelter but again have no imminent hope of accommodation. They're really nice lads and are never any trouble and I realy want to help them. One has a young baby but is no longer with the mum. They have little money (around £40 per week)and I just don't know what else to do to help them.

I would love to let them come home with me but don't think I can- dh wold probably not be too impressed and I have a 1yo at home. Also, think it would be crossing boundaries wrt to work. But I can't stand the thought of them sleeping rough in the snow again. I could maybe bring them back for tea but would then have to watch them leave again. Don't even know if they'd want to come to my house altough we do get on well.
Any advice would be much appreciated

woodpops Wed 23-Feb-05 11:04:20

Could bringing them home for tea not cause problems with work either. Not only that you may then get them turning up on your doorstep all times of day and night which isn't ideal with a 1 year old.

Why won't their parents sign these forms???

beachyhead Wed 23-Feb-05 11:08:42

I think you have to be very wary of bringing individuals that you might be able through work, home. This is your personal enviroment and your dh's, and you should want to keep it exclusive, and certainly respect dh's wishes if he wants to. Can you contact local community police officers and/or social services? You could try phoning hostels etc for them. I really think what you are doing is with the best intentions, but maybe if you use the phone, internet etc and the other resources that you have at your disposal to help them, you might do better than invite them into your house.

Hayls Wed 23-Feb-05 11:44:15

I've tried to phone places for them but they didn't want me to. I've dug out numbers but they won't phone themselves either. I thin kthey're waiting for it to fall into their laps. I didn't seriously consider bringing them home, just wanted to! Dh probably wouldn't mind if I did, but obvioulsy it's not ideal. Won't bring them home for tea either as it's not much better I guess. I thin kI will phone them later to see how they are and maybe go and meet them and buy them dinner from somewhere cheap. One has a brother apparently who has 1 bed flat and MIGHT let them stay..they're worried it'll cause hassle.
Their parents won't sign the form because they're not talking at all. I've tried asking them to talk to them to no avail. I'm sure they would sign if they were actually asked, I know most parents would rather this than have their child sleep rough.
Just bought them both a jam doughnut to try and cheer them up

woodpops Wed 23-Feb-05 12:03:41

Could you not ask the parents to sign the forms or can you not do that as part of your job??

morningpaper Wed 23-Feb-05 12:13:28

The council has a responsibility to provide 24 hour housing advice. I don't understand the guarantor thing - what does that mean? Guarantor for WHAT?

WestCountryLass Wed 23-Feb-05 12:57:22

My Dad set up a charity in Bristol called night stop. My Dad had two of the homeless youngeters come and stay with him, one went on to bigger and better things and grabbed the opportunity with both hands, the other shat on my Dad from a great height and stole off him etc etc. I personally would not get involved primarily because you have your DC at home to consider. By all means encourage them to contact appropriate agencies and support them in that way but these boys can be masters of their own destinys and you should not feel guilty (but I am a hard nosed cowbag...).

Hayls Wed 23-Feb-05 13:45:59

I've spent some time today trying to sort this out and they have aparently been offerred emergency accommodation but preferred to 'doss'. They're getting a lot of support from personal advisors, whic I didn't realise.
I'd love to ask their parents to sign it but am unable to do this. I think they said the guarantor was a sort of deposit i.s. if they cause damage the guarantor has to pay for it.

justmummy Wed 23-Feb-05 13:51:27

If they're only 17, surely Social Services would be able to help them.

Tortington Wed 23-Feb-05 23:58:32

i would phone the housing dept and ask them about their duty of care policy if they are under 18. same with social services. its a shame and i understand your feelings but to be honest if the opportunity is there for them to help themselves then there is not a lot else you can do but give THEM the oppotunity to help sort it out - which it sounds like you are doing. there is a stage where people have to help themselves. Shelter is a good organisation to phone as they do have links to legal people and they do know the law inside out with regards to housing. sometimes people just have to be told straight out that they are being given opportunities if they dont take them - then tough.

Tortington Thu 24-Feb-05 18:22:32

also phone connexions

Tortington Sun 27-Feb-05 17:52:50

Hayls any update?

Hayls Sun 27-Feb-05 19:38:28

I only work Mons and Weds so I haven't managed to speak to them. They are in regular contact with Connexions, which I didn't realise before (selective provsion of information on their part)and they had a meeting with the COuncil later on in the week-I phoned them on Wed afternoon and they sounded a lot more positive, hopefully they found somewhere to stay. I'll find out more tomorrow.TY

mummydreamer Sun 27-Feb-05 20:25:34

Somehow you need to persuade these young people to present to their local housing department. Here they should be assessed as under 18's (in spite of having no parental support) as vulnerable young people. Good luck!

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