HOMELESS teenagers are in desperate need of temporary lodgings in Stourbridge.

YMCA Black Country is looking for people who are willing to open up their homes to vulnerable youngster as part of its Open Door project.

Anyone can be a host, regardless of gender, employment status, disability, faith or sexuality.

But they must have a spare room, be able to provide at least one meal a day, undertake a criminal records check and be willing to work alongside YMCA support staff.

Philip Howell and Jan van der Elst, from Stourbridge, have been hosts for around 12 months.

They said: “We feel that not only have we succeeded in helping young people move on to independence but we have also benefitted greatly ourselves from this project. "Hosting young people has now become part of our normal lives, which we would not want to miss for the world.”

Rachael Taylor, supported lodgings host co-ordinator for the YMCA Black Country group, added: “Host families provide security and stability for young people at a crucial time in their lives. Sometimes people are unsure about our project because they are worried about the risks of hosting teenagers in their homes."

She continued: "All the young people we work with are risk assessed and we only accept young people who are considered to be low risk and engaged in education or training.

"Six young people from our project went on to university last year. I would urge anyone who is interested to come along on the host prep course to find out more.”

Courses are due to take place on Saturday February 22 and Saturday March 1 at Wordsley's Red House Glass Cone from 10am-2pm.

Places must be booked by sending an email to rachael.taylor@ymcabc.org.uk or calling 0121 5241957.