As a teenager Jo was forced to leave home, where she was suffering emotional and sexual abuse.

 

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.

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.

If I hadn’t got help from Nightstop, I would have had to sleep rough. I was really nervous, I didn’t know what to expect. I was sent in a taxi to the address. They were so nice. I couldn’t believe it. I texted my friend saying I didn’t think people could be this nice. I got there, we had dinner at 6pm, together. That night I slept really well.

I stayed with Nightstop hosts for three weeks and they were all so welcoming. I got to meet their families, go for walks in the countryside. They were so welcoming and understanding and always made sure I had what I needed. It gave me time to sort things out and during that time Depaul helped me get into a longer-term women’s hostel where I felt safe. I’m trying to get a job and then I want to get my own place.

Without Nightstop I literally would have been on the streets.”

Young and homeless: Will you help?

Jo sitting on a sofa drinking a cup of tea