John Thompson, manager of Myst Lodge, a hostel for young, vulnerable adults in Melton, tells the Melton Times how the shelter and support it provides is helping many young and vulnerable residents get back on their feet.
Q What is the Melton Young Singles Trust Lodge (Myst) and what service does it provide?
A Myst Lodge is managed by emh homes and provides supervised accommodation for 10 young homeless people, aged 16 to 25 years old. The support enables them to make the move to safe and secure independent living. If they need more, then our staff can offer assistance and guidance appropriate to their needs.
Support is also provided by the charity Myst Trust which raises funds to help with extras such as cookery course and IT skills.
It also helps with the provision of the basic necessities when the residents leave the hostel. They are also given help in enrolling at local further education colleges or applying for jobs and accommodation in both the private and public sectors.
Q When did Myst open?
A The hostel opened in 1994. There is also Westbourne House which consists of self-contained flats for people with medium level support needs.
When dealing with a family or young children, or those referred by the local authority, the support level can be much greater.
Q What process do people have to go through to stay at Myst?
A Any young person who finds themselves homeless can approach Myst Lodge directly.
They can turn up at the door having left the family home and we will start the process. We also accept young people from agencies that work with the young and vulnerable. To apply to Westbourne House you need to be referred by the local authority.
Q Who don’t you accept at Myst?
A We can’t accept anyone who has committed crimes against children, and anyone with a record of more serious offences would have to be properly assessed to decide if they were suitable.
Q How has Myst evolved over time?
A It just used to be case of “this is a hostel, this is what we do” but we now give residents an input into their accommodation and the support they receive. Residents are now more actively involved in shaping the services they receive.
Q How is it funded, how long do residents stay and what is the benefit to the community?
A It’s currently funded through a mixture of funding streams, including the county council, rental income and Housing Benefit. How long residents stay depends on the individual as needs vary greatly.
Until someone is ready to maintain independence successfully there is little point in moving them on because all they are going to do is fail.
Not many people realise that Myst Lodge and Westbourne House exist in the community and the important needs they fulfil.
Both save a lot of young people being on the street and vulnerable. We are committed to working with Melton Borough Council in continuing to meet those needs.
l Myst Lodge is located in Nottingham Road. For details call 01530 278195.