Would you consider opening your home – and your heart – to a young person in Glasgow who desperately needs a safe place for the night? Our new campaign, led by Deacon Blue star Lorraine McIntosh, is looking for generous people who might just make all the difference to someone who is having a tough time. In our latest story, we feature Miriam Anwar, who recently became a Nightstop host.
Miriam Anwar, (46), who lives with her grown-up son in the south side of Glasgow, became a host with Nightstop after working with our Street Team for a year.
She registered three months ago and hosted an under 18-year-old male on two occasions for four nights.
Miriam said: “The street team deals with the far end of homelessness, when people have been homeless for a long time, used many different services and often they’ve been let down.
“I was keen to work at the other end of the spectrum on the prevention side.
“I want to give young people a safe place to stay to prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place.
“I’ve seen for myself how long people can end up being on the streets and as a single mum I’m aware of how easy it is for things to break down at home pretty fast.
“Tempers can flare and people walk out.
“Nightstop provides excellent background support when you host.
“The immediate reaction I get from friends and family when I say I’m going to host a young homeless person is ‘Oh my God will you be safe?’
“But you get full disclosure of who you are taking in before they arrive.
“I say to people these kids are just like your kids, they are just going through a tough time.
“And you are never forced to host anyone, it’s ultimately your decision.”
Miriam added: “You can have very open conversations with Nightstop staff about how it’s going and they are on call day and night if anything arises.
“For me it’s been a really positive experience.
“If anyone is thinking of becoming a host I’d say drop your prejudices.
“Forget about the homeless person label – they are just a person.
“Being a host is a chance to meet really different and interesting people and enjoy a bit of company.
“I’d recommend Nightstop to anybody, it’s brilliant.
“Opening up your home to someone could help them in a very real way.
“The impact that you can make for someone that’s going through a time of upheaval can be immense. It’s just about giving someone a bit of stability, space and safety.”
Deacon Blue singer Lorraine McIntosh is to host a no-obligation Nightstop Information Evening for people who are interested in finding out more about becoming a Nightstop host. It will take place on 24 October 2019. If you would like to attend please register via simonscotland.org/nightstopvolunteer.