ARE YOU HOMELESS, SOFA SURFING OR AT RISK?

Young man sits on the street

John's story

John had a troubled and unstable childhood. His father suffered with mental illness and his mother was abusive - his earliest memory is of her kicking him in the stomach. He was regularly sleeping rough at just 15 years old.

Since coming to Centrepoint, he's been able to work through those issues with the support of our counsellors. Having a safe room has meant he can focus again and even get back into education.

sleeping rough at 15 years old

John is the eldest of three children. He had a troubled and unstable childhood, with his schizophrenic father leaving the family when John was just four years old. John's mother would take her frustrations out on her children and as the only boy, John often bore the brunt of her attacks. John's earliest memory is being kicked hard in the stomach by his mother. He was just five at the time.

By the age of 15, John was regularly sleeping on benches or in a derelict flat. He was surrounded by danger, but it was still better than suffering violence at home. After four years of living rough, John's physical and mental health was in a terrible state. He turned to drink, self-harming and even became suicidal.

Eventually, John was admitted to hospital and brought to our attention. He had his first shower for a very long time, finally feeling clean and relaxed. Being at Centrepoint meant that he finally had a warm, safe room, which John took great delight in keeping clean. He describes it as 'perfect'.

Since being at Centrepoint, John has found having access to counsellors really useful to help him overcome his personal and mental issues. He has taken advantage of life skills classes, which have helped him learn about budgeting, paying bills and cooking. John's biggest love has been reading, with his desk always filled with books on economics, marketing, physics, philosophy and theology.

John's dream is to become an International Communication and Security Analyst, so he is studying hard to gain A levels in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He is so grateful that his talent is being nurtured and is absolutely determined to make the most of the opportunity

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