Deacon Blue star Lorraine McIntosh has called upon people in Glasgow to ‘open their homes and hearts’ to some of the most vulnerable young people.

Lorraine has thrown her support behind Simon Community Scotland’s Nightstop campaign, after revealing she was homeless at the age of 18.

“Ricky and I were talking one day about how we can get involved with stopping homelessness, as we see it as a real issue” Lorraine told The Evening Times.

“We started looking at charities and came across the Nightstop project. I think it’s a really practical and doable way for communities to get involved in tackling issues like homelessness.”

The Evening Times revealed last week that Glasgow City Council has spent more than £8million over the past four years to private hotel and bed and breakfast providers for short-term stays for the homeless that have been described as ‘uninhabitable’.

Read more: Glasgow's temporary housing 'was like being in jail’

Reports of drug dealers roaming corridors, locks being missing from hotel room doors, and a general lack of support from staff, are causing particular concern for those using the council’s homelessness service.

Homelessness is an issue that’s close to Lorraine’s heart, after she found herself homeless for a period when she was 18.

“My mum died when I was young, and when I was 18 we lost our home.

“I came out of school one day and didn’t know where I was going to sleep that night.

“I sofa-surfed with various friends and my brothers until eventually one of them helped me to sort something out for a place to stay.

“It was a really shameful and embarrassing experience and I had nowhere to turn. Luckily I had thinks like the social security system to help me out but I don’t think that many young people are entitled to that anymore and that’s what makes things like Nightstop even more important.

“Just to be offered a bedroom, a hot meal, some nice clean pyjamas and toiletries and to know you can talk to someone if you want to, but that’s left up to you.”

Nightstop prevents homelessness through community hosting - providing a safety net to those who have been forced to leave their home. It is a campaign ran by Simon Community, which encourages people to become ‘hosts’ for as much or little time as they can.

Read more: Glasgow's homelessness strategy needs ‘completely overhauled’ after council staff blunders

The programme places young people aged 16 to 25 in a safe and warm home for the night, provided by a vetted and approved volunteer. Hosts offer a private bedroom, a hot meal, and shower. Toiletries and other essentials are also provided by the charity to keep in host’s homes for the young people they have to stay.

“We have opened our home to other people in need before, with Positive Action in Housing, and we housed a young asylum seeker. It’s about sharing privilege which, in my opinion, only enriches homes.”

Nightstop is designed to prevent young people from sleeping rough, “sofa surfing”, or staying in unsuitable accommodation. As Lorraine describes it, it “catches people at a vulnerable moment in their life.”

A young person can stay for one or two nights - or up to three weeks - depending on their circumstances and not necessarily with the same host.

“It operates on a traffic light system, so you can say when you are available and it works around you, too” says Lorraine. “It’s just for people who are find themselves needing that bit of help, or needing propped back up.

“I really would encourage everyone to consider the campaign. We have an opening night date where people can come along, too. It’s helping young people at their most vulnerable age, stopping then having something to worry about.”

Lorraine’s information evening is on the 24th of October. Register via