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What will happen to people like me? – A residents story

January 17, 2015

Plans to cut a £194,000 grant from Milton Keynes council to the local YMCA will mean the closure of the night shelter. Twenty people per night who are currently housed in safety will be out on the streets. MK YMCA understands the financial difficulty facing the authority but urges reconsideration of the damage such a move will cause. Here, a resident explains the difference YMCA has made to him:

Jack Stapleton (20) The YMCA gave me my life back I guess. It gave me stability. It gave me a second chance!

I grew up in Milton Keynes. A week after my 18th birthday I was kicked out of home by my mum. For the next 6 – 8 months I moved around staying with various friends. I then found a place in shared accommodation which went well for about a year until I lost my job and had to leave. I spent the next two months with friends before going back to my mums. 3 months down the line she came in one day and went into one and asked me to leave again. I spent another week with a friend and was then able to find a space at the YMCA. That was a relief as I had no money. I started College 5 days after moving to the YMCA and am now studying Accountancy AAT. Without the YMCA’s support I would not have been able to focus on this course. I now have a YMCA flat. The YMCA gave me the help to start eating properly, meet new people, gain (part-time) work, get into football and other sports, volunteering and it gave me my life back I guess. It gave me stability. It gave me a second chance!

If their funding is cut and MK YMCA have to close their emergency accommodation, where would people in circumstances like mine go?

If you would like Milton Keynes Council to reverse this proposed cut and save the YMCA Night Shelter, please tweet, talk and post to everyone you can. To get in touch with your councillor directly go to https://mapping.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mymiltonkeynes.aspx“Find my councillor” or email council leader, Peter Marland at peter.marland@milton-keynes.gov.uk. Thank you.