21 May 2018

Last week we sat down with George, a current YMCA Exeter resident who wanted to share his story with the wider YMCA community. 

“Hi, I’m George, I’m 23 years old and I’ve lived at YMCA Exeter for 7 months now.

Before coming to YMCA I’d been homeless, I’d sofa surfed and even slept rough for a bit. It was so difficult for me to find a job, and it was even more difficult to feel like I belonged anywhere. People didn’t really seem to care about, or understand, my situation.

In my first weeks at YMCA Exeter I decided to take part in the Santa Abseil – I couldn’t believe that people from outside the YMCA cared enough to jump off a building!

I also quickly joined the music group and performed at the Christmas Carol Service and at a cream tea for YMCA supporters. This week (May 2018) I’m starting my work experience placement at Exeter City Council. My goal is to complete 100 hours of work experience so I can get my Level 1 Certificate in Customer Service and help other people.

Since living at YMCA I’ve also completed my Level 2 Certificate in I.T. and I’m midway through my Level 2 certificate in barbering. You never know what life is going to bring so I’m keeping my options open!

YMCA Exeter is a great foundation for re-building your life when it’s not gone as planned. I really am proud to live at the Y, I finally belong somewhere, and it’s humbling knowing that people from the outside care.”

On behalf of George, and our 50 other residents, our continued thanks to everyone who supports us, prays for us and stands alongside our young people as they move away from homelessness and truly develop their full potential.

(We’ve changed George’s name and photo to protect his confidentiality but his story is 100% true.)