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Tuesday 04 July 2017

Would You Take In A Stranger: TV Documentary To Feature Brighton & Hove Homelessness Service

Sussex Nightstop – a Brighton-based emergency accommodation service – will be featured in a national TV documentary this month.

More4 is to broadcast Would You Take In A Stranger?, a powerful and moving 50-minute film, at 10pm next Tuesday (11 July), featuring a volunteer host and a young homeless person in the city.
 
Dandi has been using emergency accommodation Nightstop – led by national homelessness charity Depaul UK – for three years because she has a difficult relationship with her mum. 
 
The film reports how Dandi has had another argument with her mum and had to leave home again. She has been staying with Sussex Nightstop hosts, on and off, since she was 16.
 
Dandi, 21 says: "I went to a youth project and said that I had been kicked out and did not know what to do. So they sent me to Nightstop and a little house in Hove.
 
"I don"t want to be miserable. I want to be happy so I am not going to let my problems get to me. 

"I have been questioned by a youth worker about whether I was actually homeless or not – just because I was well-presented and smiling. To not have a home feels very frustrating, stressful and a bit lonely."
 
The film's narrator says: "As night falls in Brighton, Dandi's back on the streets. She has been here several times before after previous arguments with her mum."
 
Dandi adds: "I get very worried: "Am I going to stay on the streets tonight? Or is someone else going to help me tonight and I will be safe?"
 
"People seem pretty shocked a lot of the time when I tell them what's happened. I moved to Tenerife when I was five and I lived there for 10 years. 


"My dad and my mum split and my mum decided to come and live in England. My dad not being there was tough. My mum"s had a tough life.
 
"I think when families break up and [the children] are the teenage kind of age, it is quite hard."
 
Dandi is filmed pointing out the covered benches on Brighton & Hove seafront where homeless people often sleep.
 
"I see a lot of people rough-sleeping in those shelters," she says. "It is too open for me – too out there. They can easily see I am a young person and vulnerable. I would not feel safe there. 

"I am always relying on people [for somewhere to stay], on my friends. Even if they say no to me, I will ask them again.
 
"I have never had to rough-sleep but I have had to think about it because I have been near to the point where I have had to and saved at the last minute. 

"If Nightstop did not find me a place tonight, I would try to stay awake till tomorrow just to make sure I am safe."
 
In the documentary, Sussex Nightstop, which has its headquarters in St. George's Place, Brighton, found her a place to stay with volunteer host Ruth.
Ruth, the Nightstop host, says: "I have a spare room and while the room – I know it is only a box room – is sitting there, I am really lucky I can offer that to somebody.
 
"I have two girls, Ella and Nina, who are grown up. It was me and the cats for a while. That wasn"t all right! I don"t like an empty house."
 
Dandi is seen in the film happily staying at Ruth's home and talking about her family and chatting and laughing with Ruth.
 
After her stay with Ruth, Dandi says: "It feels sad to leave people when you have made a connection."
 
And Ruth reveals: "Six year ago I had cancer. That was really, really hard – I nearly died. I have been given a chance. I am lucky to be here and, if I can help people, that"s great!"
 
Nightstop provides a safety net to those unable stay at home, placing young people in a safe and warm home for the night, provided by a trained volunteer, it prevents young people from sleeping rough or staying in unsafe places where they would be at risk.
 
The More 4 documentary will be broadcast from 10pm on Tuesday, 11 July  and will be available to view for a month afterwards on: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/catchup/more4

by: Mike Cobley




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