Already an unsafe place in winter, as the temperature drops, living on the street becomes even more dangerous. Vulnerable young people are facing daily threats to their physical and mental health. They need our help now.
As a teenager Jo was forced to leave home, where she was suffering emotional and sexual abuse.
“When I was 18 I went to university in Manchester to study law. While studying I was living at home with my mum, my younger brothers and my stepdad. However, my stepdad was quite abusive, it was emotional and sexual abuse. I was literally trying to be out of the house all the time.
“I got to the point where I thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I reported the abuse to the police, my stepdad was arrested and I had to go through lots of interviews. It made things really difficult at home and my relationship with my mum deteriorated. I tried to go back home, but it didn’t work out. My mum said my stepdad would always be there and I should just go, leave.
“I had to go and live with a friend, and we had to share a bed. I completed two years of the degree course but at uni my mental health was a mess. I found it hard to concentrate, to focus. I felt so low, I just could not deal with being at uni any more, so I left.
“After that I was living with another friend, who had a pull-out sofa bed. I was living on Universal Credit and spending the days job hunting. When the pandemic started, I could no longer stay with my friend so I got in contact with Nightstop.”
Nightstop UK is a national network of trained and vetted volunteer hosts who open their doors to young people. When we refer a young person to Nightstop, they are in crisis, often facing a night on the street.
Jo says: “Without Nightstop I literally would have been on the streets.”
By donating £39 you could help provide a young person with a safe bed for the night with a volunteer Nightstop host, travel to the host’s home and a welcome package of toiletries.
Will you make a donation to our emergency winter appeal to keep a young person like Jo off the streets and safe this winter?