I’m 24. I’ve been using Nightstop for about three weeks now. I’m homeless because I split up with my girlfriend.

I’d been with her for three years and we have a son together. But it got to the point where we were just arguing all the time, it wasn’t right. I didn’t want my son to see that so I decided to leave.

I moved in with someone else and I had some kind of mental breakdown. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and I tried to kill myself. Then I got kicked out of where I was staying and I had nowhere to go, I had no money to go anywhere, there was no one I could rely on. Most of my friends still live with their parents and they don’t want someone else living in their house, which is understandable.

I was on the streets.  There were several nights when I slept rough or didn’t sleep at all and just wandered the streets at night.

I think the depression is the combination of many things over many years.  I grew up seeing violent arguments. I’ve always felt alone and abandoned and I think it’s just all hit me at once.

I left home as soon as I turned 16. Me and my mum were living with my aunty and my two cousins and we didn’t see eye to eye.  As soon as I could I moved out and went to live with some friends. My mum moved to a different part of the country.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas.”

I first heard about Nightstop when I was looking online for emergency accommodation. Then a friend suggested it to me as well, so that’s when I went to the council.  Another friend had already used it when his parents had kicked him out.  It helped him get to the point where he got his life back on track and now he’s moved away and gone to uni now, so it’s really helped him.

My first Nightstop was really difficult because of my anxiety. I find it hard with strangers at the best of times, and now it’s even worse.

I spent Christmas in Nightstop. It was such a strange feeling. I thought I was going to be on my own with nowhere to go. It’s the most horrible time of the year to be alone. Considering I was dreading where I was going to be, I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas.

But it killed me that it was the first Christmas I’ve had without being with my son. I see my son when I can, but it can be quite difficult. My ex-girlfriend has said that maybe I shouldn’t see him until my mental health is better.

I’m still employed but I’m on sick leave at the moment. If I can just get somewhere where I settle, I’ll be able to look after myself properly, get a routine back and get back to work. I know that once there is less chaos my mind will be able to process what is happening to me. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a room in a house soon, but I need to find the month’s rent upfront first.

If Nightstop had not been available, I don’t know what I would have done. I went to look at a hostel after a few Nightstops, but the moment I walked in there the smell of the building made me sick to my stomach. The idea terrified me because you never know who is going to be in those sort of places and I don’t think it would have done me any good.

I would suggest Nightstop to anyone in my situation. I’d tell them to come straight to SASH, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. If not I don’t know where I’d be now.  I might not even be here.

If I ever get an opportunity to do this for someone else one day, I will because I know what it feels like to be in this situation and it’s horrible, and if I can one day help someone else through it then I want to.

Update: SASH helped David to secure a loan from the Welfare Assistance Scheme at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, so that he could move into a private let. David has settled in and has since returned to work.


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