Every night, YMCA provides over 9,000 beds for young people
We urgently need your help to unlock a safe place to stay for homeless young people like Joel.
Joel found himself living on the streets for five years after he became homeless at only 16 years old.
“My dad left us when I was only 6 years old and I never got on with my step-dad. I felt I had no choice but to leave. But once I left, I wasn’t allowed back. I slept on my garden bench sometimes as that’s where I felt safest. Some mornings mum would invite me in for toast and a cup of tea but then I would have to leave again.
Sleeping on the streets was cold, lonely and terrifying and I was in constant pain. I survived on handouts from food banks and shared what I could with others.
A guy I met on the streets gave me his guitar which I am so grateful for. Music is my passion and busking is the only thing that kept me going.
One day I woke up and someone had urinated on me. I was absolutely demoralised and broken. My life had to change and then I found the YMCA.
It’s really hard to put into words the feeling when you turn the key to your own room.
YMCA created a stable life for me and the staff had a huge impact. Getting a job, a course at college and getting into university would not have happened without the support from YMCA. I’m so proud to be completing my music degree – it’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Please make a donation today, because it is possible to go from nothing to everything – with the right help, the best help. I can’t thank you enough.”