Tori was repeatedly beaten by her mother. At one point, things became so bad that she ended up in hospital.
Tori moved in with her godmother, but her godmother’s partner wouldn’t allow her to stay. As a result, she ended up in temporary accommodation. She was just 15.
Tori’s situation is not uncommon.
103,000 homeless young people approached their local council for support last year.
If they can’t find accommodation, many choose to risk their chances on the streets because they believe it’s safer than staying at home.
There are several reasons why young people become homeless.
Physical and mental abuse, exclusion from school, family breakdowns and gang crime are just some.
However, there is hope.
Centrepoint’s role and youth homelessness in the UK
Formed in a Soho church basement in 1969, Centrepoint has dedicated its work to improving the lives of 16 to 24-year-olds who become homelesss.
Today, Centrepoint employs more than 400 staff who support young people right across the UK.
Although roles vary, the charity continues to support young people with housing, educational and employment needs with a long-term objective to end homelessness full stop.
Hannah Jones, Manchester’s Regional Fundraising Manager explains:
I did a talk today contextualising all the reasons why young people become homeless. For me, vulnerability and real lack of a support network are key. Ultimately, our aim is to plug all those gaps and be the support network that most people’s families are.
How has homelessness become so widespread?
In cities the size of Manchester homelessness is very visible.
Austerity cuts have played their part whilst many streets have become home to individuals seeking political asylum.
Mental and physical abuse is a big part of it. The next biggest group of people that we support are care leavers. That’s something that really surprises people.
When you get to 16, 17 or 18, depending on what education you’re in, the Government statutory duty expires. At that point you must go out and make it on your own. We receive a lot of young people through that.
2019 marks Centrepoint’s 50th anniversary and in that time plenty has changed.
Despite this, one constant has been the charity’s dedication to their cause; to provide homeless young people a brighter future.
How does Centrepoint make a difference to youth homelessness?
Thanks to the continued support of Centrepoint supporters, the charity is now able to reach 15,000 homeless young people each year.
A donation of just £12.00 will keep one young person off the street and in shelter for a whole month.
Not only that, 86 percent of young people Centrepoint engage with move on positively.
Why Fletchers Solicitor’s are supporting Centrepoint’s Wake Up To Change
This year, Fletchers Solicitors will take part in Centrepoint’s sleep out initiative, Wake Up To Change.
Team members from across the firm will experience first-hand what it’s really like to spend a night on the streets.
Fletcher’s Solicitor’s Digital App Developer, Mark Prime shared with us why he’s taking part:
I want to be involved because this is an incredible cause.
Homelessness has far reaching ramifications due to the impact upon a person’s ability to be safe, rest properly and have a space they can call their own.
For young people, when going through such changes that usually accompany early adulthood, it must be even more detrimental.
It’s through compassion and understanding that we can all make a difference.
By raising awareness of this great cause and by taking part in the event, I hope that peering down the road so many young people find themselves on, that I can foster that compassion.
We can improve the world around us.
Assistant Litigation Executive, Alicia Lovely is another team member ready to take part.
She told us:
As I live in Manchester city centre, it’s something that I notice a lot as I go about my daily commute.
Homelessness is a huge, unavoidable concern that a lot of people tend to notice this time of year. People are left out in the cold. Sometimes they have pets too which is heart breaking for everyone.
I previously volunteered on a weekly walk around Manchester with Homeless Aid UK.
I’d give out food, water and day-to-day health supplies. The amount we’d donate on a weekly basis is so concerning and it never seemed to end.
Each new week always need more supplies.
How you can support Fletcher’s sleep out
By sleeping outside with colleagues for just one night, Fletchers are hoping to raise significant support for the large number of young people who are currently all on their own.
Fortunately, Tori, along with thousands of others, made it to calmer shores with Centrepoint’s support.
Tori rebuilt her life and now thrives as a dance teacher, photographer, film-maker and clothes designer.
Remember, £12.00 will sponsor one young person’s hostel bed at Centrepoint for a month.
To help someone else, please support Fletcher’s sleep out and visit: justgiving.com/campaign/sleepout-fletchers