It may come as a surprise to learn that the majority of homeless young people who come to The Clock Tower Sanctuary are homeless because of relationship breakdowns meaning they have nowhere to call ‘home’.
Our clients have usually experienced extremely challenging early lives. Many come from broken or dysfunctional homes. Occasionally their early experiences include neglect and/or abuse in households where alcohol or drug dependence and/or violence are routine. Others may have behavioural or mental health problems that become unmanageable for their families.
When a young person leaves home because their situation has become unbearable, initially they often turn to other extended family and friends – sleeping on mates’ sofas for a while – becoming part of the ‘hidden homeless’. But this can’t last forever. Once their hospitality has been exhausted, they may end up sleeping rough or in temporary/ emergency accommodation.
Faced with this situation, young people often experience a sense of crisis. They rarely have any funds, may have little support, be separated from friends and family and often lack the knowledge, skills, or confidence to stay safe and to deal with their situation. They are at risk of their lives spiraling out of control.
That’s where The Clock Tower Sanctuary steps in.
Stacy, 21 years old
Stacy’s teenage years were challenging and after pushing the boundaries too far, she was kicked out of home at 19 years old. She stayed with various friends to begin with, but after exhausting all invitations she found herself homeless on the streets of Brighton. “I was staying in a tent on the seafront with a group of older people. It was difficult, especially as I was the only girl.”
Stacy started to access The Sanctuary regularly to have a hot shower, a meal and to wash her clothes. “I would only really come here. I made friends at The Sanctuary and I didn’t want to mix with older homeless people that use the other services as they used hard drugs”. With The Sanctuary’s help, Stacy has secured and sustained supported accommodation. With somewhere to live she successfully completed a six month voluntary internship with Fairshare gaining valuable work experience.
Stacy is now able to look to the future. She is keen to achieve the qualifications and experiences she missed out on. “I had no motivation before; it was just all about surviving. I want to work in animal care and I am determined to get there and stick at it”