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 14,000 homeless young people every year. With our support, they've overcome monumental obstacles and achieved amazing things.

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 with…

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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.


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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 em…

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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. She has been nominated for the Centrepoint Personal Development Award.

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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* was subjected to sexual, physical and emotional abuse growing up. Ten years after his dad went to prison, his mum suddenly threw him out.

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

Centrepoint found Adam a home, a GP, where he received a diagnosis for depression, and a psychiatrist, enabling him to talk about his trauma for the first time in his life. Adam now lives in shared accommodation, is back at work and 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. Jordan has recently been nominated for the  Centrepoint Rising Star Award.

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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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Dineer's Story

15 July, 2020

Dineer* is 20 years old and became a Centrepoint resident in January. During lockdown, she became a keyworker herself, working as a chef at a major hospital in South West London. Here she talks about her experiences during the pandemic and her hopes to start her own business in the future.

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Morgan's Story

28 July, 2020

Following a family break up and subsequent mental ill-health, Morgan, 22, dropped out of university and ended up homeless. After a period of sofa-surfing and rough sleeping, Morgan was referred to Night Stop and later Centrepoint where he started on his road to recovery. He now volunteers as a youth advocate within Centrepoint.

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Jasmin's Story

12 August, 2020

Jasmin is a Rohingya refugee and spent much of her childhood in a refugee camp in Bangladesh before being granted asylum in the UK.

She has overcome so many barriers in her life, but sport was always something that made her feel good. Last year through Centrepoint, she took part in the Street Child Cricket World Cup, and since then has been named one of the BBC's 100 Women of 2019.

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Keith's Story

18 August, 2020

Keith started working for Centrepoint in 2017 following a 20-year career supporting families for other organisations. Currently he supports young parents in Greenwich. Here he tells us why he loves working with young people and children.

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Ebby's Story

18 August, 2020

When Ebby became pregnant at 17, she was unable to continue living with her mum. She sofa-surfed with extended family members until eventually she was referred to a hostel for young parents. She describes her relationship with her keyworker as instrumental in her turning things around.

Ebby has recently moved into her own flat with her son and has enrolled on a social work course at college.

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Michelle's Story

15 September, 2020

Michelle has worked for Centrepoint for almost three years and currently works as a supported housing officer in our young parent’s service in Sunderland.

Before Centrepoint, Michelle worked with adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. She says it was the care an ex-partner was given that inspired her to go into support work.

Here Michelle tells us about why she enjoys working with young people.

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Shannon's Story

21 September, 2020

At just 17, Shannon was referred to Centrepoint when her foster placement broke down. Whilst with Centrepoint, Shannon was supported to finish college, complete an apprenticeship and apply to university. She has recently moved into her own flat and is about to start her degree in fashion design.

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Carol and Pat's Story

25 September, 2020

Carol Cordingley is the deputy service manager at one of Centrepoint’s therapeutic services near Bradford and has been with the organisation for four and a half years. Here, she works with Patrick Hollinger, a supported housing officer who has been at the service since its fruition over five years ago.

In this interview, they share their combined 32-year experience of working with young people.

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Alex's Story

25 September, 2020

Alex has worked as a supported housing officer in Sunderland since April 2018. Prior to that, she was a prevention worker as part of a pilot project and also had responsibility for the youth educators programme. This was aimed at raising awareness and tackling misconceptions surrounding homelessness. Before she worked at Centrepoint, she worked in further education for 20 years.

Here she shares her wealth of experience in working closely with vulnerable, young adults.

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Tasha's Story

30 November, 2020

Tasha came to Centrepoint through social services when her foster placement broke down at age 16. 

With the support of her key worker Carol, she began to thrive. She took up an apprenticeship with a national bank in which she excelled.

Tasha recently turned 18, moved into her own flat and is working full time. She recently won a Centrepoint Award in recognition of all her hard work.

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Zahra's Story

21 October, 2020

Zahra came to the UK earlier this year just before lockdown to join her husband following an arranged marriage. She was 19 years old at the time. When things took an unexpected turn following her arrival, Zahra was referred to Centrepoint and has been with the organisation since August and is beginning to rebuild her life.

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Ali's Story

21 October, 2020

Ali, 18, came to the UK as an unaccompanied minor. He was fleeing persecution for both his religion and his sexuality. Originally from Iran, Ali had lived in the Republic of Georgia where he converted to the Baha’i Faith which was forbidden in Iran. Once in the UK, he also came out as gay and is currently seeking asylum on the basis of his sexuality. He is currently studying A-level sciences and hopes to eventually go to university to study in the field of neuroscience.

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Cameron's Story

22 October, 2020

Cameron, 19, was referred to Centrepoint following a family breakdown. He sofa surfed for a year before social services placed him in the care of a relative. This turned out to be an inappropriate placement for Cameron and he made contact with social services who placed him in a Centrepoint hostel. After a year, Centrepoint have supported Cameron into his own flat and he has now started a degree at university. He eventually wants to go into teaching.

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Ziggy's Story

05 November, 2020

Ziggy had a difficult journey before he came to Centrepoint - homelessness, drugs and crime. He embarked on a roller coaster ride of sleeping in unsafe places like bus shelters and falling in with a bad crowd, which led to run-ins with the police.

Seven years since leaving Centrepoint, Ziggy, now 29, got in touch with us wanting to share his story in his own words. Here it is.

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Cassie's Story

13 November, 2020

After a relationship breakdown with her mum, Cassie sofa surfed before approaching her local council and requesting a referral to Centrepoint.

Centrepoint staff have supported Cassie with her mental health, university application and her move on into independence. She has just begun a degree in Fine Art and has moved into her own flat. 

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Liz and Angeline's Story

12 November, 2020

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Centrepoint and have been from our early beginnings. Their time, knowledge and kindness are vital to the important work we do supporting young people. 

One of our volunteers, Liz, has been working with Angeline for three years and has supported her through some difficult transitions.

Here is their story.

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Dolores's Story

16 November, 2020

Dolores Hamilton has been with Centrepoint for four years, but has worked with young people for a lot longer. She is a floating support worker and works specifically with care leavers between 16-18 years old. Here she tells us about her role and working with young people.

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Lewis's Story

18 November, 2020

Lewis 19, lives at a Centrepoint hostel in Central London where he has been since he left care at 18. He is studying game design and recently won a House of Vans competition with Centrepoint to design a skateboard.

His skateboard, along with others designed by famous artists such as Grayson Perry will be part of a virtual auction hosted by The Auction Collective to raise vital funds for homeless young people.  

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Luke's Story

03 December, 2020

Luke, 19, has overcome many barriers in his life and was nominated by his support worker, Deanne, for the Centrepoint Life Transformation Award. With Deanne's support, Luke has written his story in his own words.


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Christian's Story

09 December, 2020

Christian, 23, was recently nominated for – and won – the Centrepoint Partners Inspiration Award. Ria, a support worker who worked for Broxtowe Youth Homelessness, nominated Christian because, despite extremely difficult experiences, she says Christian was able to turn his life around and through volunteering, inspired not only the young people they support, but the staff too.

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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 wo…

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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 workin…

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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 Centrepoin…

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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 w…

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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 te…

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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 ci…

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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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