Jason was homeless and living in a tent during winter, but your kind support helped him find somewhere safe to stay.
Jason lost his job in a supermarket just before Christmas 2015 and, no longer able to afford the rent on his flatshare, he spent his last wage packet on a tent. For six freezing weeks he shivered inside the tent, which he pitched in the middle of a field because he was terrified of being attacked by passers-by.
Thankfully, Jason found somewhere safe to stay at YMCA. At first he was wary and reluctant to talk about what he’d been through, but Dann, Jason’s Youth Engagement Worker, was able to gain his trust. He learned that his relationship with his mother and stepfather had broken down badly and that Jason was desperate to leave home as soon as he could, when he was still only 16. He hasn’t had a lot of contact with his family since then, so when he lost his job and desperately needed somebody to turn to, he didn’t feel he could talk to to them.
As Dann got to know Jason, he found out what might lie at the root of his unhappiness and troubles with his family. When Jason was just two years old his father left home and he hasn’t heard from him since. As each Christmas passed, Jason hoped against hope he would receive a card from his father, but it never came, and the sense of rejection that Jason felt was destroying him.
Jason’s been through so much, but with the support of YMCA he’s now thinking positively about his future: “They’ve helped me see that just because parts of my life were bad, it doesn’t mean the rest of my life will be.”
“I know that YMCA will stick by me and stand up for me. I’ve never really had that before. They’ve helped me see that just because parts of my life were bad, it doesn’t mean the rest of my life will be. It’s up to me to make the most of the future.”
*Jason’s story is true, but we have changed his name and used a model to protect his identity.