Until my Heart's, Like, Finished

There are over 75,000 homeless young people in the UK who have nowhere to live. A YMCA is a safe place for these young people to live and the people who work there help them to improve their lives. In this video some young people living at a YMCA talk about why they are homeless and their plans and hopes for the future.


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Interviewer: How have you ended up here?

Girl 1: A long story.

Interviewer: Would you like to tell me your story?

Girl: Well ...

Girl: I got kicked out of my mum's house when I turned sixteen. Well, she actually kicked me out before my GCSEs, a couple of days before my first exam.

Boy: Well, I was homeless at the age of fourteen.

Girl: My mum kicked me out day after my birthday. 

Girl: I went to the council and they said that I had to go to the YM because I didn't have a child so they couldn't support me.

Boy: Basically things just got a bit too much and last December we had a massive falling out.

Girl: Not exactly the ideal upbringing of a child or teenager, but ...

Boy: I was living in a garage, in a, well in a car, in a garage. Car didn't work, had no engine. Slept in there for about two weeks.

Girl:  I was living in mine and my ex-boyfriend's car at the time, we had a Cavalier and my washing was going to my dad's ex girlfriend's, it was ... she lived next door to an ex-boyfriend of mine.

Boy: I lived down stables, in a caravan for a year. I've lived along the canal for seven months, in a tent.

Girl: Well, I stayed at Stacey's on my birthday, when I got back Mum gave me a letter, cause we had another row and she was like, yeah, let's just hope you just get a place. So I grabbed some stuff and went down the council and showed them the letter and they stuck me in Acorn Lodge.

Boy: It wasn't nice. It was like, I did turn to alcohol, ermm. Used to just think that was the best thing for me really because I had nothing.

Girl: It was rough, it was horrible. I wouldn't ask for anybody to go through it. Not what I went through ... I wouldn't ask that.

Girl: 'Cause I used to look after the children all the time. I didn't look after myself 'cause I was looking after them. I was always run down. 

Girl: If my mum and her partner was in an argument I'd have to, like, take them out and like, try and do stuff with them, to distract them from the argument.

Girl: It's always been to and from my dad's and my mum's house, and when my mum's kicked me out my dad wasn't able to look after me. But um, most of it's come from my stepdad, 'cause of his drug problems.

Boy: Depending on, yeah, what sort of mood he's in at the time, kind of depends on how he reacts. I mean sometimes he'll just, yeah, get a bit mouthy and then walk off, sometimes he'll get violent.

Girl: I've got a little boy, he's two and a half. I see him twice a week. [Due to ...?] Due to not being able to cope. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I don't want him or anything. Looking at me and my son six months ago was like looking at my mum with me. Now, and I thought to myself, do I keep going and let him have a horrible life and ruin his life or do I let him go with his dad, have a good life, let me sort myself out. You know, I've still got a long way to go. I've still got a long way to go and erm ... then maybe in a couple of years' time or so, get, have him back or if not have shared responsibility. You know?

Girl: In my opinion she had children too young so she took her youth into her adulthood and just carried on being childish. Had five children. 2007 she had us all taken off of her for being out drunk and on drugs and not believing the police that we was in police custody and from that day she just didn't care. We all went into care, and we all moved out of [???] and it went from there really ...

Boy: I think because it hurt me and it did mess my head up quite a bit I'd say if I, like, didn't have any of that problem, I think I'd probably would of had a bit of a better life. It's like I can't blame myself for everything really. It's ... if my family were better with me I think I would of been ... a better person.

Girl: Even if I'm not happy if I try to be happy and put it on, it makes me feel happy. I don't forget anything, but it goes to the back of my head. 'Cause I never used to be able to do that before I just used to always be negative unless it's about chocolate or something. I'm like, hmm ...

Girl: I'm bubbly and chirpy and that around people, and sometimes they don't see me in my room like, singing and crying but that's how I get it out, like, all my anger and that, 'cause I can't always go around hitting people or I will get into trouble, so I just sing really loudly with my music really loud and that's all right as everyone blasts their music anyway so they don't really hear me... and just like, scream and cry until my heart's, like, finished and I just want to asleep.

Boy: I get angry, that's fair, I just, I do get angry and I've just got to apparently release it and find a way just to get through with life instead of, like, it's always going to be with me, but ... so I know how to control it.

Girl: My main goal for my future is not to turn out like my mum. I'm going to have a job, I'm going to get my own money and pay tax rather than spend other people's tax money.

Boy: I would like to be working in a body repair shop. Cars is my passion, and I love cars ... the only thing that brings a smile to my face.

Girl: Starring on films, people know me worldwide, like, starring in horrors and comedies.

Boy: For a better relationship with my brother, I suppose, 'cause, you know, all be I might go around saying I hate him to some people but at the end of the day, he is my brother.

Girl: A good job, maybe my own little house, with so much of my mortgage paid off. Little car, little kitty, ha ha, just a little life basically.

Girl: Err, my wish would be for my mum to get a little bit better and them to get a bigger house.

Boy: Hopefully get back into racing or something, cause I used to ride for Philip Hobbs and, hopefully travel the world one day ... so ...

Girl: I suppose, like, have a normal family, a normal mum and a normal dad, like, together still ... (yeah) and have like more of a family upbringing rather than just like, here, there and everywhere upbringing with all the drugs and violence and everything.

Girl: If you'd asked me that wish three years ago, I'd have said I'd wish for a better life but to be honest with you that I wouldn't wanna wish for anything because my past is who, is what made me who I am today. So I wouldn't want to change anything, to tell you the truth. And that wish it just don't mean nothing for me.

Girl: Right now I can do bus journeys on my own if I know that someone's going to be there at the other end to pick me up. Erm, you just, you just learn to cope with it, it's really hard but you just learn to cope with it.

Girl: Try and find something that gives you that strength. Just keep trying, just never give up 'cause there will come a job around in the end, and a flat. You just, you get there in the end.

Boy: But I'm glad me mum kinda kicked me out, because it kinda learnt me certain things to do with, like, life and like, your parents are always, like, wait until you get older and you'll realise what life's all about. And I kinda see what they're actually on about now. It's kinda, it has, it does hit you, it does hit you ... 

Girl: I haven't done a lot to be honest ... my life, my life starts now.

Boys and girls (shouting): Yeah, we did it! We did it in one day! We did it in one day! Brilliant! Yeah!

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