‘You're dehumanised’ - Yorkshire woman reveals how hard it was to overcome teen homelessness

Homelessness can happen to any teenager without a strong support network
Homelessness can happen to any teenager without a strong support network
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A Yorkshire woman has spoken out about how difficult it was getting her life back on track after being homeless as a teenager.

Catherine Geddes, 26, of Keighley in West Yorkshire, became homeless at the age of 16 after being kicked out of her family home following a breakdown in her relationship with her mother.

Catherine worked hard to get her life back on track with help from Centrepoint

Catherine worked hard to get her life back on track with help from Centrepoint

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She was then forced to "sofa surf" at a friend's house while attempting to continue her education.

"You don't know what to do at first and you feel like life has rejected you," Miss Geddes said. "You feel like you are a burden because you don't have anything to offer.

"Your self-worth becomes even lower than what it was before. You're dehumanised."

After spending time in hospital due to a worsening eating disorder, Miss Geddes said she became involved in an abusive relationship with a man.

"He would kick me out of his place and I would have to sleep rough," she said. "I eventually ended up in a women's refuge."

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Aged 22, Miss Geddes eventually found youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, which helped get her life back on track.

"They sorted out my money and paperwork, took me to the doctor, referred me to a mental health specialist and helped me kick the booze."

Today she is living in social housing accommodation and is studying adult social care in college.

"I have built up a good network of friends and life is slowly getting back on track," Miss Geddes said.

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Miss Geddes is now an ambassador for Centrepoint and has taken part in the Youth Parliament.

“I never thought, me, a homeless girl, could do the things I've done," she said. "I want to go into schools and tell kids all about homelessness and mental health. I want to tell them young people on the streets are living in total chaos.

"They need more than a room. They need someone to give them their self-esteem back. It's all about supporting the individual to have a future."