Easter is a time for renewal, resurrection, and new beginnings for homeless young people.
On any given night across the UK, it is estimated that there are 300,000 young people without anywhere of their own to sleep.
Some are on friends’ sofas or floors, some sleep on night buses or in cars, and others have no choice but to sleep on the street. Many leave home when they are as young as 15, due to abuse, family breakdown, or bereavement.
Without a secure home, it is hard for these young adults to continue studying or find work to support themselves. But thanks to your help, we can offer them a fresh start.
We wanted to share the stories of two of these young people.
Anja* couldn’t stay in her overcrowded family home. She didn’t get on with her stepdad, and her grandad, whom she was particularly close to, had just passed away. Rather than let her family relationships worsen, the 18-year-old made the decision to leave, but had nowhere to go. During a freezing January, she was sleeping at friends’ homes and in her aunt’s car.
She says “I would end up walking around, or hiding in the gym overnight. I had nowhere else to go.”
Anja got a room in a young person’s scheme that we support. Once she had a safe place to sleep, she was able to think about her future.
Donations paid for Anja to study for a Security Industry Authority Certificate, which means she is now able to get a job in customs. As well as helping her find a career path and an income, this support provides Anja, and people like her, with a stepping stone to independent living and a home of their own.
About a year ago, 19-year-old Dylan* had to leave home after his relationship with his family broke down. He was able to stay with friends for a while, but when their new baby arrived, they no longer had room for him. At the same time, his work contract came to an end, and his severe dyslexia made it difficult to find a new job.
All Dylan wanted was to work and to find a home. Suddenly, he was sleeping on the street. He came to a hostel supported by Church Housing Trust, and was able to regain his confidence. He was chosen for an apprenticeship and is now moving into his own flat.
Dylan was excited to move, but the flat was unfurnished, and he was worried about finding the extra money needed to buy furniture. Thanks to your donations, he was able to buy a bed, a fridge, and cooking utensils to help him settle into his new home. It doesn’t sound like much, but you can see from the photo how much this fresh start means to him. He can study, work, and begin a new, independent life with confidence.
Your donations, support, and prayers enable us to help people like Anja and Dylan. We are especially grateful to those who have left us a gift in their will, as this enables us to plan for the future. If you would like to receive information about remembering us in your will, please get in touch.
As Anja says: “It means a lot to know that someone will help me take a step into my future.”