Young person in a light blue t-shirt against a grey wall

Jason's story: From helpline to home

When Jason became homeless during the pandemic, he called the Centrepoint Helpline who referred him into our Homelessness Prevention & Relief Service (HPRS) in. Once he had a roof over his head, Jason was able to find employment in a residential care home. Jason is now looking forward to going to university and finding a permanent home of his own.

Coming to the UK

When Jason was 14, he travelled to Spain from Nigeria and two years later he moved to the UK aged 16 to attend college.

Jason was living in a shared house, but after losing his job, he was unable to keep up rent payments and was evicted

Sofa surfing to finding Centrepoint

Jason sofa-surfed with a friend for three months and during that time, he rang the Centrepoint Helpline who referred him to Centrepoint in Manchester.

“When I called the Helpline, they helped me to understand the process of presenting as homeless to the local council and from there I was referred into Centrepoint’s Homelessness Prevention & Relief Service in Manchester,” he recalls.

Centrepoint were able to place Jason in their emergency accommodation where he was able to stay for four weeks until they could find more permanent supported accommodation for him.

“They referred me first to a Centrepoint place and from there I was referred to a hostel where I can stay as long as I want until I get my own apartment. It was such a relief for me because I was going to be on the streets.”

Help navigating the benefits system

Navigating the benefits system can be really challenging for many young people and Centrepoint were able to support Jason to apply for housing benefit, UC and to apply for part-time work.

“Stephanie, my key worker, really helped explain everything to me. She was so kind and supportive and helped me to understand what help was available,” Jason enthuses.

Going on a residential with Centrepoint

Since being supported by Centrepoint, Jason was lucky enough to join a group of young people on a Centrepoint residential run by our ACTIVITIES team. For Jason, it was an opportunity to try things he had never done before and connect with other young people.

“It was really nice,” he says, “I made new friends from all over the place. They were really nice people. It gave me the courage and confidence to try new things. I am really grateful to Centrepoint, they have been a huge help to me.”

Jason loves to dance, draw and paint and has applied to university to study product design. He hopes that he will find a permanent place to live by the end of the year where he can start really focusing on his future.