Grace had no other choice than sleeping on the streets.
Her alcoholic father abused her physically and mentally. Her mother and sister blamed her for her father’s behaviour. When she tried to reach out for help, she was told to go home. Back to a violent and dangerous situation. She really tried to make things work at home, but her father’s abuse was relentless. She asked her relatives for help: some refused; others let her stay for a night or two. But soon, she had to leave.
She was 16, terrified and alone. She had nowhere else to go. She had no other choice than to sleep on the streets.
Sadly, Grace’s story is not unique: homeless young people are at risk of coercion, abuse, and sexual and criminal exploitation. The traumatic effects of sleeping on the streets can cause serious mental health issues that will haunt these young people for the rest of their lives.
Thankfully, Grace was able to reach out to us. We listened to her. We advised her of her rights: she was entitled to a safe place. With the help of one of our Outreach Advocates, we helped challenge the local authority’s decision to send her home. We ensured she was placed with a loving foster carer in her local area. Now that Grace has a safe place to live, we supported her to start a college and get a part-time job. She’s saving up to study law.
Thanks to your help, Grace was able to thrive. But our work is not over.
We continued to support Grace by working with Children’s Services in order to ensure a dedicated plan was implemented to maintain her continuous access to education, employment and future independent housing.
We will always be here for children like Grace.
There are many more children in the same position Grace was: unable to go home, sleeping on the street, afraid and alone. We want to help, but we can’t do it without you. Help us ensure these children can have a warm Christmas. Help us give them a home.