From homeless to hostel manager
'I came to London from Manchester when I was 15, looking for work. I stayed with a relative but got kicked out after a couple of weeks.
'I ended up living on the streets up town in what was then called cardboard city - where the IMAX cinema by Waterloo is now. I spent around 18 months homeless in London.'
Just before he turned 18 Matt was referred to what is now Centrepoint Perry Vale, but was run by a different organisation at the time.
'I always stayed in contact with my key workers and went back and did some volunteering. Then suggested I come back as a part time worker, so that’s how it started.
'I’ve been with Centrepoint 14 years. I’ve worked in all different services.'
As hostel manager, Matt oversees the team that works with the young people staying there.
'I always think how I fell into a homelessness service and how it changed my life. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t got into that service. It’s the same sort of thing, I just wanted to give something back to the young people.
'I think the work we do is vital and it’s getting much, much harder for young people now. The longer I do it, the worse it tends to get for people in our age bracket.'
Matt sees his responsibility as making sure that young people only need Centrepoint's help once.
'They need somewhere to go after Centrepoint, that’s my main goal, to create a way out. What Seyi (our CEO) talks about – a home and a job.
'I’ve never met a bad young person. I’ve met young people in bad situations, young people who’ve had no breaks.'
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