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