With Centrepoint facing rising costs and a loss of over £2million in income following the Coronavirus outbreak, your support is more important than ever.

Centrepoint support thousands of young people every year to leave homelessness behind them, but we cannot do that without the help of our incredible supporters.

Here are the stories of just a few of the amazing young people we have the privilege to support. All of them have experienced trauma in their young lives that have forced them to leave home; often staying up all night to avoid the dangers of rough sleeping.

Please sign up to STAY:UP so that young people like Becca, Adam, and Clare don’t have to.

Becca’s Story

Due to her parents struggles with mental health and addiction, Becca went to live with her nan. But when her nan discovered she was gay, she ended up on the streets.

“I lived on the streets for two or three weeks because I was too young to be in a hostel. I was still in school doing my GCSEs,” she recalls. “I remember being too scared to fall asleep. I slept in the doorway of a few buildings a few times, but I had a friend whose mum used to work early in the morning so I’d walk around for most of the night, then go there and get ready for school.”

After discovering Centrepoint’s street football programme, Becca excelled at the training centre and was selected to play for England at the Homeless World Cup in Mexico in 2012. She’s now been involved with the Centrepoint Team England programme for six years and volunteers as a coach and mentor for other young people. With the skills and confidence she has developed, she’s now also training to become a hotel manager.

Adam's Story

Adam’s father subjected him to physical and sexual abuse as a child. When his Dad was imprisoned a decade ago, he faced emotional abuse from his mum who constantly criticised and undermined him. Last year, she suddenly threw him out of the family home, leaving Adam feeling as if his life was over. 

“I’d sleep between parked cars or ride the night buses to stay awake until the morning where I would be able to catch a few hours sleeping on a park bench. It was grim, there were loads of drunk people and it’s not great emotionally. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place; you just do what you have to do in order to survive. In the daytime, it just would have looked like I was sunbathing, but actually I was catching up on sleep”. With no place to stay, Adam was unable to keep up his job and had to drop out of university, which left him feeling so desperate he attempted suicide. 

Thankfully, Centrepoint found Adam a home, and a GP, where he received a diagnosis for depression and got the help he needed. They have also found Adam a psychiatrist, enabling him to talk about the abuse he suffered at home for the first time in his life. Adam now lives in shared accommodation, but continues to receive support from Centrepoint. He engages with the Centrepoint arts programme in Manchester and hopes to return to university and eventually become a Parkinson's nurse.

Clare's Story

Clare’s childhood was always unstable and full of uncertainty. Her mum often brought back different boyfriends to live with them for short periods. They would stay for a while and then leave, then it would start all over again. One of them started to abuse her, but when she told her mum she chose to believe her boyfriend over Clare.

With no one and nowhere she could go she asked some of her friends if she could crash on their sofas. She moved from sofa to sofa until eventually she ran out of offers. Clare was then forced to sleep on the streets.

“I used to go to McDonalds a lot to stay warm. It was horrible. It’s scary when you’re on the streets and you have nobody to turn to. It’s awful, I can’t even describe it.”

“When I was on the streets, I didn’t sleep, I was too scared. I just used to walk about from place to place. I was scared, I was cold. It was January time and I just couldn’t cope with it. I then had an assessment and they put me straight here [to Centrepoint].”

With a little support from her Key Worker, Clare is now working hard building her confidence back up and putting her life back together. She’s also receiving support with her mental health from Centrepoint Health team Clare to address the issues causes by the abuse and neglect she suffered as a child.

Clare is now looking forward to starting her college course and she’s currently getting useful work experience, but she’s thinking seriously about pursuing a career in cosmetics or travel tourism.

Hear From Young People Supported By Centrepoint