A YMCA sign

YMCA’s new CEO aims to tackle homelessness in Bournemouth.

“imagine for a moment your going to bed and you have no door to shut.”

He asked people to “imagine for a moment your going to bed and you have no door to shut, so you lie down maybe you’ve got a pillow and there’s no door and there’s people walking past you.”

He wen’t on to say that “the stigma needs to be broken down a little bit, their people, their just as broken, suicide rates at 35% higher among the homeless then they are the general population.”

Gareth explained that the YMCA aims to tackle the homelessness issue and provide “support for people that have been homeless and they need a roof over their head and somebody to work with them.”

He explained how the YMCA helps. “We do an analysis of their problems, so that’s their social needs, their health needs and their mental health needs and then if they’ve got addiction issues as well and we provide a care support for them on site”.

He described how young people in Bournemouth can face many different hurdles, such as, “drug abuse, mental health, family breakdowns”and  discussed how the YMCA was equipped to help with these issues. For example, through their gym facilities, family services, parenting classes and housing support.

When asked what changes he hoped to bring about in his new role, Gareth said: “those are a bit watch this space, new into the role one of the things I’ve been asked is to survey the landscape a little bit and then bring some potential new ventures”.

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