Thursday, December 12, 2013

Home for Christmas? 12

Leaving home and coming home

centre point - give homeless young people a future


Sophie is the youngest of three children. Growing up, Sophie's childhood was traumatic - her mum had mental health issues and her dad was an alcoholic. Sophie often suffered physical abuse at the hands of her parents. Her earliest memory is of being beaten black and blue by her dad when she was just three years old. Sophie was eventually placed in foster care and began to put her past behind her. Then, tragically, her foster mum died suddenly and Sophie found herself on the streets almost overnight.

Sleeping rough

Sophie was homeless for the next three years - mainly living on the streets, sleeping in doorways and parks. During this time one of her friends overdosed. Another was raped and murdered.

Turning her life around 

Sophie is also having intensive counselling to help her cope with her traumatic childhood and is learning to feel better about herself, having spent a lifetime feeling, in her words, worthless and ugly.

Safe at last

Thankfully Sophie found Centrepoint and has now been living in one of our services in south London for the past eight months. Sophie loves her room with its blue door and space for her few belongings and beloved teddy bears. It's somewhere she feels completely safe.

More than just a room

Since being at Centrepoint, Sophie has formed great relationships with her support and development worker and her key worker, who has helped her to go back to college to take adult literacy and numeracy classes. In addition to her studies, Sophie is learning basic life skills such as budgeting, how to pay bills and cooking.
** Sophie's story is true, but her name has been changed to protect her identity at her request.


  1. Molehil11:21 am

    This is certainly thought-provoking and really makes me so grateful for what I had as a child and growing up .then

  2. As a mum who has watched two children grow to adulthood (29 & 31 now), the idea of teenagers and young adults being left to fend for themselves as they try to find their feet always seems terrible. At that stage even a little bit of support makes a huge difference. I hate the thought of these youngsters having nowhere to go home too when life gets tough, which is why I support Centrepoint's work.