ARE YOU HOMELESS, SOFA SURFING OR AT RISK?

A picture of Josh, who used to be a street sleeper. Now, he has recovered and moved on from rough sleeping with Centrepoint's help

Real Homeless Stories

Centrepoint helps more than 15,000 homeless young people every year. With our support, they've achieved amazing things and overcome some huge obstacles.

Here are some of the real stories of Centrepoint young people and staff.

All real stories

Becca's story

08 March, 2019

Following difficulties at home, Becca went to live with her nan. But when her nan discovered she was…

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Tash's Story

15 May, 2018

Aged 16, Tash was forced to leave home and then spent six years sofa surfing.

But after staying wit…

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Nathaniel's story

12 March, 2019

In his own words, Nathaniel explains how he came to Centrepoint and how our Bursary scheme helped hi…

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Jeremiah's Story

03 January, 2019

Aged 22, Jeremiah was thrown out of his home after his father refused to accept that he was gay.

Bu…

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Sarah's Story

03 January, 2019

Sarah came to Centrepoint after her mental health spiralled out of control and she was not able to s…

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Jack's story

06 December, 2018

At just 13, Jack's family life became unbearable.

But when he came to Centrepoint, he was offered e…

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Tyler's Story

08 June, 2018

As Centrepoint’s Regional Manager in Yorkshire, Tyler manages our housing services in Bradford and B…

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50th Anniversary: Jess's Story

19 June, 2019

When Jess’s mum kicked her out when she was just 16, she ended up at Centrepoint. She then moved thr…

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50th Anniversary: Kerry's Story

05 June, 2019

Kerry came to Centrepoint in the 1970s after running away from home and ending up homeless on the st…

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50th Anniversary: Peter's Story

13 June, 2019

Peter first came to Centrepoint in the early 1970s after leaving the army with a medical discharge a…

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Nadia's Story

19 June, 2019

At just 17, Nadia was forced to flee Ethiopia because of persecution for her political beliefs. Afte…

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50th Anniversary: Lisa's Story

19 June, 2019

Lisa sought help from Centrepoint’s night shelter when she experienced a period of homelessness afte…

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50th Anniversary: Cara's Story

19 June, 2019

Cara ended up at Centrepoint in the early noughties after leaving her family home due to her dad’s d…

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50th Anniversary: Steve's Story

20 June, 2019

Steve had a comfortable middle class background, but his home life was turbulent. At the age of 18 h…

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50th Anniversary: Terence's Story

21 June, 2019

Terence started as a volunteer at Centrepoint in November 1993. He spent a number of years working i…

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50th Anniversary: Maureen's Story

27 June, 2019

Maureen started working for Centrepoint in November 2003 as a Resettlement Officer and is now the Service Manager at one of our services in Camden. To mark our 50th anniversary, she reflects on working for Centrepoint and the changes over the years.

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50th Anniversary: Gary's Story

01 July, 2019

Gary became homeless in the early 90s after being disowned by his family for being gay. After a period of rough sleeping he sought help from Centrepoint, where he built up the courage to come out and have pride in who he is.

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50th Anniversary: Mari's story

01 July, 2019

Mari was a Centrepoint resident in 1997, after being thrown out of home as a teen when the relationship with her mother broke down. Not only did Centrepoint provide Mari with a roof over her head, they also provided a support network that she relied on for many years after.

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50th Anniversary: Emilyn's Story

23 July, 2019

Emilyn was a Centrepoint resident in 2007 after her mental health deteriorated. Whilst living with Centrepoint, she received support from her keyworker and the learning team, which eventually lead her to university. Emilyn now works for the UK's leading charity for social integration. 

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Sofia's Story

12 August, 2019

Sofia was brought to UK from Portugal by her Godmother when she was five years old following neglect and violence at home.

When the relationship with her Godmother also broke down, Sofia was referred to Centrepoint. She is currently living in a Centrepoint service for young parents and is studying to be a teacher with the help of Centrepoint’s bursary scheme.

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Gareth's Story

15 August, 2019

Gareth found himself homeless after university. Thanks to Centrepoint, Gareth is now in his own place and due to start an FA coaching course with support from Centrepoint’s bursary.

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50th Anniversary: Simon's Story

21 August, 2019

Simon started as a Supported Housing Officer at a direct access service run by Centrepoint in 2008. He now uses his Centrepoint skills and experience in his role as Business Development Manager.

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Elise's Story

06 September, 2019

Elise went through the care system and came to Centrepoint when she was 18. With Centrepoint’s support, she secured a place at university and completed her degree. 

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Kai's Story

18 September, 2019

When he was just 17, Kai's father passed away. Little did he know, life was about to get much harder.

 

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50th Anniversary: Helen's Story

03 October, 2019

Dr Helen Miles is Centrepoint’s new Lead for Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE). Coincidentally, she also volunteered for Centrepoint for 20 years, at one of our ‘off the street’ winter shelters in Central London.

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Brookemorgan's Story

29 October, 2019

Brookemorgan was housed by Centrepoint for two years. It was here, she says, that she was given the "breathing space" to become independent. 

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Darren's Story

11 December, 2019

Darren became a Centrepoint resident aged 19 back in 2005 following a communication breakdown with his family. After leaving Centrepoint, he worked for a number of year as a youth worker. He has since written a book called Power of 21 to help young people break into creative industries. He has recently become a Centrepoint trustee.

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Lola's Story

17 January, 2020

Lola grew up in care from the age of four. During her teenage years, she became immersed in gang culture. After a number of abusive relationships, Lola ended up escaping her area and was referred to Centrepoint, enrolling on a number of courses and programmes provided by the organisation. She's now very close to completing her traineeship with a major media company. 

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Tam's Story

30 January, 2020

Tam is a former Centrepoint service user. Her story of homelessness began when her family discovered her sexuality. After coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, some family members became uncomfortable, and eventually asked her to leave home. 

Tam received support from Centrepoint in Manchester and benefited greatly from Centrepoint's sports programmes.

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'Adam's Story'

03 March, 2020

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

Forced to live in his car, Adam was unable to keep up his job and had to drop out of university, which left him feeling so desperate he attempted suicide.  

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, he’s back at work and is planning to return to university to complete his studies.  

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Jordan's Story

03 March, 2020

Jordan, 24, has struggled with homelessness for the past three years, and spent eight months on the streets in 2019. Centrepoint have provided Jordan with a support worker, drug counsellor and mental health worker as well as offering him the opportunity to get involved with arts and drama programmes, which he says have made a huge impact on his life. He is now living in supported housing and has recently secured an audition to study drama at college.

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Ramona's Story

03 March, 2020

Ramona suffered with her mental health as a child and was sectioned when she was just 11. Her condition wasn’t diagnosed until much later, but since receiving a formal diagnosis and escaping an abusive relationship, she has been able to take control of her life and is excelling at her studies. She is now having regular therapy and appropriate medication for her condition and looking forwards to studying Biological Science at university.

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Marianne: Healthy Relationships Advisor

25 March, 2020

Marianne is Centrepoint's Healthy Relationships Advisor in London. Here, she describes her role and how it is vital to tackling youth homelessness.

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Jen's Story

26 March, 2020

Jen* became homeless at 16 following a relationship breakdown with her mum. For two weeks in the dead of winter, Jen sofa-surfed or wandered the streets desperately trying to find somewhere to keep warm.

Eventually, Jen was referred to Centrepoint’s therapeutic service for 16-18 year olds in a farmhouse outside Bradford. While initially reluctant to accept help, one year later she’s thriving and looking forward to going back to college.

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"From the age of five to nine my life was like my own horror story really."

19 December, 2017

Aged five, Zinnia’s mum kicked her and her dad out. Aged nine, Zinnia was placed into foster care.

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"I wanted to give a better life to my son"

13 February, 2018

Claudette's drive and spirit are truly inspiring. That's why she was the deserving winner of the Ent…

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50th Anniversary: Alice's Story

12 August, 2019

Alice worked at Centrepoint between 2004 and 2011. She managed the 40th Anniversary and was responsible for starting Centrepoint's bursary scheme. She now works for Evolve Housing and Support.

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A terrifying journey

20 February, 2018

When Tien arrived in London, she was scared, sick, tired and all alone.

But thanks to her support w…

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Aidan's Story

26 March, 2018

"I left home when I was 20 because I was being forced into an arranged marriage."

"Today, I'm worki…

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Chris's Story

02 July, 2019

Chris is the service manager of two of our services in Barnsley and has been working with vulnerable people for over 18 years. 

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Craig's Story

30 May, 2018

When his football career came to an end and after the death of his parents, Craig hit rock bottom.

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Dreaming of working with top athletes

13 February, 2018

Josh had a difficult childhood and was put in to care in his early teens.  

His passion for sport and…

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Elly-Michele talks about STUDIO - the new Centrepoint arts programme

05 November, 2019

Elly-Michele has been a Centrepoint resident for two years since leaving care. She recently took part in the first of the Centrepoint arts engagement projects -  STUDIO, and had her work exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery. This has given her a creative platform and the confidence to continue developing her artistic talents.

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From homeless to hostel manager

15 September, 2016

Matt manages one of Centrepoint's London hostels. He was homeless himself when he came to London age…

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Georges tells his story

21 March, 2018

After suffering physical abuse from his mum, Georges became homeless.

But since coming to Centrepoi…

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Jade's Story

17 January, 2020

Jade had a turbulent time growing up. By the age of 17, she had not only experienced a suicide in her family, but also losing her mum. Barely coping with life, she spent time in and out of hospital due to alcohol and substance use, which was further impacting her already fragile mental health.

However, with courage and determination and the support of Stepping Stone Projects in Lancashire (one of Centrepoint’s partner organisations), Jade managed to make it to university, achieving a first class degree. Since graduating, Jade has supported other vulnerable young people as a homelessness officer and a substance use worker. Jade lives with her son and partner and is expecting her second child.

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Jamie's Story

28 June, 2019

Jamie sought help from Centrepoint on four different occasions over a period of six years, which gave her some stability amongst the chaos. Jamie has now moved on from Centrepoint and has recently completed her Masters in Dance.

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Never been back

20 March, 2018

On Christmas Day, Ben went to hospital with chronic pain and was diagnosed with sciatica. To make ma…

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Stephen's Story

13 August, 2019

Stephen understands what it’s like to be young and homeless: he lived in a hostel for three years from the age of 17. He now works as a supported housing officer in one of our Barnsley services. He’s been working at Centrepoint since October 2018.

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The best mum she could be

13 February, 2018

With support and a lot of dedication, Tamara turned her life around.

Growing in confidence, Tamara …

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a traumatic childhood

19 August, 2016

After struggling with homelessness and experiencing mental health problems, Catherine took control o…

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abused by his parents

13 August, 2016

Daniel's parents both abused him verbally and physically -they made it clear that he wasn't wanted. …

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family breakdown

17 August, 2016

Hannah’s problems began when her family home burnt down.

After living through family arguments in t…

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hospitalised by her mother

10 August, 2016

At just 15 years old, Tori was hospitalised by her Mum.

She was forced to leave home in difficult c…

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self harming to escape

14 August, 2016

Chloe left home in Bradford at 15 to search for her biological father in London. Things didn’t work …

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sleeping rough at 15 years old

12 December, 2016

John had a troubled and unstable childhood. His father suffered with mental illness and his mother w…

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