From 500 nights on the streets to potential business entrepreneur – Liams Story
From 500 nights on the streets to potential business entrepreneur  - Liams Story

Peterborough born Liam was just 18 years old when he first began sleeping rough on the streets of the city. Thrown out of his family home after his parents’ marriage broke down and a succession of arguments about his exam results, he was reduced to finding places on park benches or bus stops in which to bed down. On occasions he would be offered a sofa to sleep on at a friends but more often than not he would find himself on the streets of Peterborough.

He said: Sleeping rough was stressful and all I had with me were a few items of clothing and a small backpack. I remember the things I had to do to stay safe – sneak into places, beg friends, sleep on park benches, bus stops and even on the bus! You don’t get any sleep whatsoever: at most I would get about two hours.

Unable to find work, Liam was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and stealing food to survive. He would sometimes see his mum walk past him when he was on the streets of Peterborough town centre but was too proud to ask for help. Liam was on the streets for two years and slept rough an estimated 500 times.

Liam found YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Time Stop through a referral from Peterborough Hospital when he attended A&E for treatment for an illness. That night, Liam had his first full night’s sleep in a bed in 2 years as he felt safe. With the stability of a roof over his head Liam could concentrate on looking to the future.

Liam has now moved to independent accommodation and is looking to give back to the community by setting up his own youth club to get young people off the streets and doing something more positive such as football and arts.

He said: “YMCA has made me a more confident person in every way and helped me make new friends. The activities I have taken part in have made me more driven for my own goals. I’m a lot more positive now.”

Liam’s story is just one of 100s of young people in our local community. YMCA needs your help to continue to make a difference to homeless young people in Peterborough.


Register your place for Sleep Easy Peterborough 2016 now and make a difference to a young homeless person like Liam!

Call: 01733 373188 Email:

Website: Use the following quote when booking: YMCA-SleepCorp1