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James Armstrong - I found myself homeless and involved in drugs at an early age - Newcastle

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Name: James Armstrong
Age: 20
Year of the Fix: 2009
Location: Newcastle
Campaign: I found myself homeless and involved in drugs at an early age

When I was 16 I went through a pretty tough time. Things at home just weren’t good and it got to the point where it was unbearable and I ended up leaving.


At first I crashed at mates houses ‘sofa surfing’ for a while but that didn’t last long. After struggling to find somewhere to live I ended up going to a local housing advice centre and that’s when I became officially homeless in the system.  I spent 6 months living in a hostel in Newcastle.


I was actually working during my time living there but many of the other people were living off benefits. It was hard to resist getting involved – some days I’d just feel like giving up work and joining them.


Recently, I made a film with my friends to show the reality of being homeless, how the system fails lots of young people. You can watch it here.


I now living in my own flat and I’m about to complete my degree at Newcastle College in Television & Media. My love of the arts has helped me through tough times and I intend to use it to continue to help other young people who find themselves in the same situation as me.


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