Lucy ran away from foster care when she was 14 and ended up sofa-surfing and living on the streets. After 10 years of being homeless, she turned to YMCA MK to get her life back on track.
I ran away from foster care when I was 14. I was sofa-surfing and then I found myself on the streets and living in a tent. I was homeless for ten years in total. I moved all over – Watford, Hertfordshire, Luton and Dunstable.
Living on the streets was horrible. I always stayed in town centres because I knew there were lots of cameras there, so I felt safer. One night there were two drunk men. They came and tipped a can of beer all over me. It was a cold night and there was nowhere I could go to get clean or warm. It was all over my clothes, my sleeping bag, everything. It was really horrible.
I met my partner, Sam on the streets. He had to leave his home when his mum met her new partner and they had a baby. They needed the space.
I came to the YMCA in Milton Keynes because it was the only place that would accept couples. I lived in the hostel for two months and have now been in my flat for a year.
It was fine in the hostel. There were lots of activities. They really help you and try their hardest. When I got my flat one of the staff members helped me get some furniture from a local charity and even took me to pick it up. My Housing Officer is really supportive.
I don’t know where I would be without the YMCA – out on the streets probably. I’m so grateful. I’m the most settled I’ve been in years.
Since living at the YMCA, I’ve completed a health and social care course and I'm now looking for a job
Lucy, 21, YMCA MK resident