When Joe first arrived at Depaul he was exhausted, he had been living in unsafe environments since being asked to leave home and was traumatised by what he had experienced in his young life – at two years old, Joe went into care, at five his biological mother died and by 18 he was on the streets.
Joe says “I was very depressed. I was self-harming and I had attempted suicide. I was in a very dark place. Depaul found me a bed, and the support I needed.”
Joe stayed with Nightstop hosts for five months before he was able to get his own place.
“They took me down, introduced me to the host and there was already cooked food on the table. They said to me, you can either get to know the host, chat to her, or go straight to your room if you like. But I like talking. I spent about two and a half hours chatting her ears off. That’s when I realised that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I had a hot shower and things like that. I slept like a baby. The lady woke me up the next day at two o’clock in the afternoon, and gave me breakfast. I was shattered. I couldn’t tell you when I’d last had a good night’s sleep.”
This illustrates just how important the Nightstop service is in ensuring young people are able to get away from the dangers they have been living through. From Nightstop, young people move to our supported accommodation – small, shared homes where staff help them to develop skills to live independently. And when they are ready to manage a tenancy, they can move to a home of their own.
With Depaul’s help Joe learned how to cook, apply for jobs and form support networks and he is now living in his own place: “So, now I’m living in a house share. I like it because there’s people around. I don’t think I’d want to live in an empty household. I’m just enjoying having my own place, the independence of it, doing my own shopping and cooking. I’ve been getting on with my housemates. They’re cracking. Now, I’m applying for work again.”