Ashley

“Nightstop has been fantastic … I didn’t think there would be people that would do stuff like that.”

This is my eleventh night in Nightstop. I’ve been around quite a few different places, mostly in York but Harrogate as well.

I lost my job before Christmas, then I split up with my girlfriend, it’s just been going downhill since then, but it can only go up now can’t it? I was a window cleaner for eight and a half years, then I did a bit in Bettys but that was seasonal and that stopped. I had some savings behind me but they ran out so I’ve had to sign on.

Work wise, I’d do anything that’s practical, I’m not really a written person. Anything outdoors, roofing, gardening. I have to go to the job centre and look for jobs on the computers. I’ve been trying to do it on my phone but it’s not so easy.

I was sleeping in the living room at home, with my bed in the corner. My two brothers had to share a room. My sister had her own room and my mum was in this tiny room as well. It was quite crowded. My mum kicked me out after an argument.

 

 

I thought if I go down the woods, at least I’m out of the way, I can make a fire and keep warm, cook some food. I had a sleeping bag, but no tent so I didn’t get much sleep. I’m used to it ‘cos I used to go camping quite a lot in the woods. So if I ever got kicked out, if I knew it was only for a night or so, that’s where I would go. I wasn’t scared, at the end of the day, people are more likely to be scared of seeing me in the woods rather than the other way around.

I spent three nights in the wood before going to housing. I’ve been kicked out before but it’s only been for like two or three days, but this time she wasn’t having it. Then one of my friends said to me “what are you doing, you’re not going to benefit yourself sleeping in the wood, get down to Housing”. So I went there to see if they could help, and there was the option of SASH.

Housing said I could do two weeks in Nightstop while I waited for a hostel place. That was in Harrogate. But some of the hosts in Harrogate were on holiday, so I’ve been having to come into York for somewhere to stay, going between Harrogate and York for my Nightstops.

When I first heard about Nightstop I thought this is a bit crazy, I can’t stay in random people’s houses. What am I going to say to them, what am I going to talk about? But they were all lovely.

It was a bit nerve wracking at first but once you sit down and get chatting, its ok. I’m quite a chatty person me, so I’ll just chat away and that’s it! It helps you feel comfortable. People have been really welcoming.

Without Nightstop, I’d have been lost. I’d have still been waiting for them to get me into the hostel in Harrogate.

Long term, I’d like to be in York so it would be a fresh start, but I can’t get accommodation because I don’t have a connection here. So I’m going to try to settle down in Harrogate, see if I can get to the stage where I’ve got my own flat privately, or shared accommodation, just get used to it and hopefully get a job in York.

Nightstop has been fantastic, the way they’ve kept me and made it feel so homely, they’ve been lovely. I didn’t think there would be people that would do stuff like that, and it’s shocked me. It’s been nice being around people like that.

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