At the heart of BreakoutBristol is the aim to raise money to support young people in Bristol who have nowhere safe to stay. Our target is to raise £15,000 for YMCA Bristol, to help them to build a new hostel in Bristol City Centre.
The number of homeless people in our city has risen dramatically over the last few years. In 2010 there were 8 people sleeping rough in Bristol, and this figure has risen to nearly 80. And that is just the tip of the ice berg. Behind that frightening figure are a lot more people who are "sofa surfing", living in dangerous situations (squats, abusive relationships, tents in parks) and who cannot find a safe place to stay.
The YMCA are opening a brand new hostel which will provide young people aged 16 to 25 with a safe place to stay, a community to be part of and crucially support to find long term accommodation. Watch the film below for some background on why the hostel is needed.
If you are a young person in Bristol and have nowhere to stay, it is becoming harder and harder to get the help you need. As the money available to the government and city council reduces, so the threshold at which they can step in and help gets higher, leaving more young people without the support they need. Once it is built the new YMCA hostel will be be self funded - through the revenues from a commercial backpackers in the same building. This means that they can house young people regardless of a changing economic or political context, and that they can step in to help earlier than other services funded by the local authority. It also means that the young people that stay with us aren't staying in a traditional homeless hostel and can avoid some of the negative labels that can go along with these.
The total project costs are £2.5m, and YMCA Bristol has successfully raised most of this from a variety of sources including a bank loan, the Heritage Lottery Fund, local / national trusts and foundations and individual donations. The money raised by BreakoutBristol will be the final piece in the jigsaw and will complete the fundraising for the project.