Centrepoint provides accommodation and vital services for young people who are homeless, helping them to become physically and mentally healthy, access education and employment and gain valuable life skills.
LandAid has given a £51,042 grant to enable Centrepoint to renovate three two-bed terraced houses, providing accommodation for six young people who have experienced homelessness.
20-year-old Dale is just one of the young people Centrepoint has helped.
This is his story.
Dale’s relationship with his mother became strained after his parents split up and he moved into his Grandma’s house at 11. When his grandmother had a stroke and developed dementia, he became her primary carer, until eventually she had to go into a home. Feeling as though he couldn’t stay with his mother Dale sofa surfed for two months before coming to Centrepoint.
'After my parents split up my mum just became quite cold towards me and it seemed like I wasn’t welcome in the house. It seemed like she was up against me, even though I hadn't done anything wrong. Our relationship just went downhill, she made a decision; she said to me I can go and live with my Grandma when I started secondary school.'
Dale lived with his Grandma throughout secondary school until, in 2014 Dale’s Grandma became too unwell to remain at home.
'When it was clear dementia had really taken over, I think that's when I really started maturing. Originally it was like a gradual decrease and then she just dropped at the start of 2014, I realised that we couldn’t carry on like this. My Grandma had always been an independent woman, she's always been really proud, and that's what's hard to see: things that characterise her most slip away.'
Dale moved into Centrepoint hostel accommodation in 2016 and was able to focus on his dream of getting into University.
'My Grandma’s goal for me was to see me go to University, and that became my ambition as well. Living at Centrepoint meant that I didn’t have to worry about where I was going to live anymore, my Grandma was safe and now I needed to focus on my A-Levels. I had an end goal, an end destination, something I was really looking forward to. I felt like, rather than just going day by day with what stress is coming today or what am I going to have to push myself through today, I actually had something physical and feasible to head towards.'
Dale received an unconditional offer to study Sociology and Criminology at University. Before starting his course, Dale moved from Centrepoint supported accommodation into a Centrepoint Move On property.
'In October 2016 I moved into a Centrepoint Move On property, where I will be able to stay for the duration of my university course. Living here gives me more freedom and independence, but the best thing about it is knowing that I have somewhere to live for the duration of my course.
'Going to University has always been my dream and focus, and knowing I have secure housing means I can give this 100%. I know how hard it is to have to worry about where you’re going to live when you’re studying; I did that at the beginning of my A-Levels. Thanks to Centrepoint and their Move On programme, I don’t have that worry now which is great, it gives me the space to focus on my course, and it’s working because I’m getting all Firsts in my assignments and exams.'
Coming to the end of his second year, Dale is embracing everything University has to offer.
'Between my first and second year, I went to Mumbai with University; this summer I’ve applied to go to Tokyo. I love travelling and would love to find a job that lets me travel once I graduate. There will be a lot to think about in the next year, my career and where I want to live after University. But for now, I know I have a safe place to call home.'
This project will be funded by RICS Pledge150.