ARE YOU HOMELESS, SOFA SURFING OR AT RISK?

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Alexa's Story

Alexa became a Centrepoint fundraiser when one of our adverts struck a chord with her personal experience. 

After going through homelessness herself at 15, Alexa knows the difference that the right support can make - now she's determined to help more homeless young people get it.

'It could have been me'

'There was a video that I watched of a young girl who was staying with Centrepoint. I was in tears watching it because her story was exactly the same as mine, except that she had somebody there to support her.

'Thankfully I came into a couple of good situations, but it could have been so much better if I’d had that help.'

Alexa's own experiences with homelessness led her to raise money for Centrepoint by running the British 10k.

'I just needed to do it for that. I was 13 when my dad committed suicide, just about to start year eight and I remember it as clear as day. Going into school I just couldn’t function any more.

'My family didn’t understand; my grandmother still blamed my dad for everything. From that point on she and I didn’t get on.'

She ended up getting kicked out of her house. At 15, she packed a school bag and left.

'I used to start work at five in the morning and then go to school at eight. The teachers used to wonder why I got to school so early. I would finish school then go to another job waitressing for an agency.

'While all my friends were going to uni I couldn’t afford it. I wanted to do midwifery but I couldn’t afford to pay for a flat. Some people were living at home and going to uni. I didn’t have my family to live with.

'Until I looked at it I didn’t see myself as homeless. I didn’t even see myself as having a problem, because I got so used to it.'

Alexa began to understand how inaccurate many of the assumptions made about homeless people were.

'I knew a couple of people going through a similar thing. They don’t have big long beards, they don’t carry a bag full of blankets and sleep on the road. To be honest I’ve never even seen a young person like that on the street.

'The real problem is a lot bigger than people make out because nobody knew what I was going through and it was so easy not to tell anyone.'

More than a decade since she had these problems, Alexa is now a mother with a successful career in the medical equipment industry. She's committed to helping Centrepoint give homeless young people a future. 

'It would fill me with the world of joy if I can make a difference to a young person who’s got the rest of their life to live and just needs a little help to get going.'

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