Bolton housing charity boss to live like homeless person
THE boss of a housing charity which provides shelter for young homeless people has decided to spend five days experiencing life from their viewpoint.
Maura Jackson, the director of Bolton Young Person’s Housing Scheme (BYPHS), is going to live in one of the flats the charity runs with little money and no luxuries.
During her mid-February stint in one of the social houses, she will also be forced to complete certain tasks which her tenants must regularly take part in.
The idea — and the amount of money and goods at her disposal — stem from discussions with her tenants.
Ms Jackson said: “In this line of work, you regularly get someone say, ‘why don’t you try living in one of these flats and see how easy it is?’ “After this particular altercation with a resident, I thought, ‘actually, why don’t I do this’.
“It started from that and has grown into something more.”
Ms Jackson will be raising funds for BYPHS, which houses vulnerable people aged 16 to 25 and helps them develop the skills to live independently.
Tenants range from people whose parents are dead, to those who are estranged from their families.
Ms Jackson said: “We have consulted with a lot of the tenants about this and they do think it is a good idea.
“A lot of people have said that I’ll appreciate the physical difficulties but not the mental anguish as I know I can go home after five days. They obviously have to worry about how they are going to improve their situation and find a way to live somewhere else.”
The stint in the home will take in a weekend and three days of the working week for Ms Jackson.
A specific flat is still to be decided. Ms Jackson added: “I am looking forward to it in some ways, the residents have given me some good tips on how to prevent the electricity meter running out and things such as that.
“They have said to me that my biggest problem will be boredom — as I am so used to working and busy, it will be tough to be in a flat on my own with limited visitors and not a lot to do for five days.
“But that is what some of our tenants have to deal with every single day of the year.”
To help Ms Jackson reach her £500 fundraising target visit: justgiving.com/Maura-Jackson.
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