Thanks for taking the time to visit our Diocesan Lent Appeal fundraising page for YMCA DLG. YMCA Downslink are aiming to raise £40K which will help them tackle youth Homelessness and provide vital services.
Any donation you can make will be a great help. Read what Chas Walker, CEO, YMCA DownsLink Group writes:
"We are living in times of great social change, some of that change is good, but I fear that some in our society are getting left behind. Centre Point estimated that in 2015 over 85,000 young people approach their Local Authority as being at risk of homelessness. 9% of those young people slept rough, 26% in unsafe places and 35% sofa surfed amongst friends and family. I am an optimist and like Martin Luther King said, I do believe that “the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice”, but as a Christian community we play an important role in following Christ’s lead in seeking mercy and justice. YMCA DownsLink Group currently houses over 500 young people who would otherwise be homeless. We also offers support to many others too who are vulnerable in some way through a wide range of therapeutic and advice services. I am delighted that Bishop Martin has chosen to support the YMCA’s Sleep Easy event through his Lent appeal and personally by joining myself and 100 others in sleeping out to raise awareness of this important issue and funds for the work of the YMCA. Please come and join us or support us financially through the Lent appeal."
Bishop Martin said, “The rise in numbers – especially of young people – who end up sleeping on the streets is a social scandal that demands our compassion and urgent attention. I am no hero. One night “under cardboard” in no way compares with the despair of those who see homelessness as their only option. But I hope that one night will help to raise a wider awareness of the issue and produce a wider, serious and effective response.”
YMCA DownsLink Group works across Sussex and West Surrey providing safe accommodation and opportunities for young people who have been made or are at risk of becoming, homeless. Last year the group housed around 550 young people who would otherwise have been homeless.
Money raised from Sleep Easy will help us support young people like Ameer. When he arrived in this country he had no support until he came across our housing advice service. This led on to him moving into YMCA accommodation. Read his story here. The money we raise through Sleep Easy will help many more young people to move into safe accommodation.
But we provide so much more that just a place to sleep. We offer support and opportunities so that the young people can achieve their full potential. Our aim is that they all belong, contribute and thrive.