The plight of homeless young people in the region will be highlighted next week by an overnight sleep-out.
A team of 14 from York-based technology consultancy Trustmarque will be braving the elements to sleep out all night, with just sleeping bags and cardboard boxes for shelter, as part of the event which is taking part in the grounds of York Minster on Monday.
It will help raise awareness of youth homelessness in the area, as well as raise funds to support York-based charity SASH’s work. It prevents young people from becoming homeless through its Nightstop service, which offers them a room in the home of a volunteer.
Last year the charity provided 840 nights of accommodation for young people across York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding.
Peter Robinson, SASH Director, said last night: “In our region, as elsewhere, youth homelessness is very much a hidden problem.
“Rather than sleeping on the streets, young people tend to ‘sofa surf’ with friends and relatives until they run out of options and finally seek help,” he added.
Sleepout events are also taking place in Northallerton, Pickering and Kirbymoorside.
For more information about the work of SASH, volunteering or the sleepout events, visit www.sash-uk.org.uk or call 01904 652043.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, made an impassioned plea earlier this year to end homelessness at the launch of a project designed give rough sleepers immediate help.
He said at the time: “Those suffering from mental health or addiction problems make up a large proportion of those living on our streets.
“However, the financial crisis of the past few years has also had a devastating effect on many people, with individuals and families finding themselves without employment, losing their homes and falling into a frighteningly swift downward spiral into homelessness and despair,” the archbishop added.