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.
“I was 18, living at home with my mum, my younger brothers and my stepdad when I went to university. However, my stepdad was quite abusive, it was emotional and sexual abuse.
“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. It made things really difficult at home and my relationship with my mum deteriorated. She said 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 my mental health was a mess. I felt so low, I just could not deal with being at uni anymore, 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.
Depaul UK also provide tailored, longer term support and housing to help young people get their lives back on track.