25 June 2014

Councillor for Dudley, Richard Body will be supporting YMCA’s Open Door project, to provide homes for vulnerable teenagers in Dudley.

A Dudley Councillor has been inspired to open his home to homeless teenagers in Dudley as part of YMCA’s Supported Lodgings scheme to prevent homelessness across the Black Country and Staffordshire through the help of caring families who can offer up their spare room for a young person in need.

Councillor Richard Body of Dudley heard about the project and immediately wanted to get involved:

“There is a desperate need to offer young adults a safe place to live in Dudley, both on a short and long term basis. Due to recent government budget cuts to local authorities, the situation has grown worse. After learning about the project and reading the experiences of existing Hosts in Dudley, I discussed the idea with my wife and we thought, “why not?” Having raised 2 sons who are now grown adults and being a Councillor for Cradley and Wollescote for the past 10 years, I have a  small understanding that not every young person has the luxury of a loving and stable home; we wanted to be part of the solution to ending youth homelessness.”

 Rachael Taylor, YMCA Host Co-ordinator said,

“YMCA are really pleased to have Councillor Body on board with our project; we want more people to think ‘Why not?’ about offering their spare room to vulnerable young people. There’s a lot of stigma attached to homeless teenagers and we’re hoping with Richard’s help, we can start to break that in the Black Country.”

Open Door Hosts come in all shapes, sizes, faiths and backgrounds – the project is always on the lookout for caring people with a spare room. YMCA runs a Host Preparation course to give an insight on what it means to be a Host, with the chance to meet existing Hosts and residents who have benefited from the support they have received.

Anyone interested in attending the next Preparation Course or looking for more information on YMCA’s Open Door project, should contact Rachael Taylor on 0121 524 1974 or Rachael.taylor@ymcabc.org.uk