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.

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.

1 in 3 young people have sofa surfed because they had nowhere else to stay.
More than 1 in 5 accepted by the authorities as ‘homeless’ are aged 16-24.
Between 2010-2017 the number of rough sleepers increased 269% to 4,751 people.

Watch Joel's story

You are not human when you are on the streets and you are wasting whatever potential you have as a person.

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.”

Joel