When Tom was 13, his mother passed away and he moved in with his dad and stepmother. He stayed with them for three years - before they moved away.
Tom remained in the area that he had grown used to and was given a place in a hostel for young people needing support.
During his stay there, Tom’s behaviour started to get him into dangerous situations. He started smoking a lot of cannabis and getting into debt with local drug dealers and becoming increasingly distant from the support available to him at the hostel.
Tom was evicted from the hostel. His brother took him in but their relationship became strained to the point where he had to leave.
Tom’s brother took him to the local authority who referred him to Norfolk Nightstop Plus, run by the YMCA as part of Nightstop UK.
At first, Tom was not sure it was right for him but, after meeting the hosts with his support worker, he felt better about it.
Tom spent five nights in Nightstop. During this time, he was able to have somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep, wash, have breakfast and an evening meal as well as receiving support from the Nightstop Support Workers.
During his time in Nightstop, Tom was referred to and assessed by the YMCA Supported Lodgings team. Subsequently, he has moved into the home of a supported lodgings provider.
Tom is looking forward to honing the skills he knows he will need to live independently.
He has a long way to go and knows he has issues around his budgeting and looking after himself in and out of the home. Tom thinks that now he has some stability and, with the support he is receiving, he has a great chance to get to where he wants to be in life.
* The image used with this story is for illustration and is not of the person featured.
Nightstop helps homeless young people find a safe place to stay, one night at a time.
Communities and charities run Nightstops in 33 locations around the UK - giving nearly 1,700 young people a bed for the night in 2014 alone.
Depaul UK coordinates the Nightstop Network and runs Nightstops in London, the North East, the North West and Cumbria.