Homelessness is devastating, destroying lives and taking away all hope for the future.
At Cheltenham YMCA we are committed to helping people at their time of greatest need. We provide a warm bed, a hot shower and, most importantly, a place where they feel safe and secure. Our support team works with each person, guiding, encouraging, supporting and enabling them to return to education, take up vocational training, seek out volunteering opportunities and employment, with the ultimate goal being independent living in the community.
Sadly, in recent years we have had to turn away some of the most vulnerable in our society as we do not have the rooms or resources to support them all – many of the people who come to us for help are just 16 or 17 years of age, although we accommodate single people who are much older.
Generally homelessness is on the rise and the number of people being accepted as homeless in Cheltenham rose by a massive 109% between 2010 and 2011, and then by a further 78% in 2012. All predictions suggest that this increasing trend is likely to continue.
In order to meet this anticipated increased demand and to ensure that we do not have to turn away those who need our help, Cheltenham YMCA has embarked upon an ambitious redevelopment programme, increasing our current provision from 56 rooms to 98.
The first phase of this ambitious plan commenced in October 2012. It involved the demolition of our 1950s north wing accommodation block, and was replaced with 73 new, modern en suite rooms. Some of these are self-contained apartments; others in clusters of 6 or 8 share communal kitchen and living/dining areas. The cost of this initial phase was £4.1million. We still need donations to meet the final cost.
By making a donation now, you will be playing a vital role in ensuring that in future no vulnerable young person need be anxious about being turned away as there is no room for them at the YMCA.