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“I became homeless through no fault of my own when my sister stopped paying our rent, despite me giving her money each week. As a single homeless man my options were limited and I was forced to spend 10 weeks sleeping in night shelters and walking the streets every day between 8am and 7pm whatever the weather.

Whilst at my lowest point I was offered a room at YMCA, where the staff spent 20 months helping me to get my life back on track and helped me secure my own bedsit nearby. When I moved into my flat all I had were sheets at the windows and a mattress and microwave donated by YMCA, but slowly I have been able to make it into a real home.

I felt a real debt of gratitude to YMCA for all their help, so I started volunteering 3 mornings a week serving tea and coffee to the other residents, which I continued to do for 3 years.

Later I was successful in gaining a place on the YMCA Apprenticeship Programme where I was recruited to work in the Housing Department. I supported both current and ex residents, working with the Chaplain and yes, still serving tea and coffee on occasions! As part of my apprenticeship I studied for an NVQ in Housing so I could contribute more to the homeless community.”

“Life has not been all plain sailing.  There have been a lot of obstacles to overcome, but with the help and support of YMCA my future is bright – thank you.” Mick