For anyone in the current climate, finding yourself suddenly jobless and without a home would be a terrifying prospect.
But at just 19 and with no qualifications to fall back on, Matty Parkinson found it even tougher than most.
Originally from Pontefract, the teenager had been staying with family but suddenly found himself without anywhere to live or a means to support himself.
He told the YEP: “I’d never had a job before and I knew it was going to be hard. It’s tough enough at the moment to find a job when you have qualifications, but for me it was even harder. I just kept applying for things and not hearing anything back.
“It was so difficult for about a year and when I sat and thought about it, it could get quite depressing.
“I think the problem was not that there wasn’t any help out there for me, more that I just didn’t know where to look for it.
“I think being jobless can even push people towards getting involved with crime because it can feel like there’s just nothing else out there at all.”
After staying in a number of hostels and halfway houses in the area, Matty, on the recommendation of a friend, eventually turned to St George’s Crypt in Leeds.
They pointed him in the direction of Leeds charity Emmaus in Burmantofts.
Opened in 2003, the charity operates a residential community of 25 formerly homeless men and women who help run a recycling/reuse business with two retail outlets in Leeds.
Those working at the community are supported and helped to develop their skills.
For Matty, getting involved with the charity was a major turning point which he hopes will set him on the road to bigger and better things.
He told the YEP: “Until I went to St George’s, I’d never even heard of Emmaus.
“They started out in bric a brac and I’ve been learning all sorts of other skills that are all really useful. I’d never been able to cook before but now I’m working preparing food and all sort.
“It’s really made me feel better about myself and it’s made a huge difference.”
For more information about Emmaus and the work they do, visit: www.emmaus.org.uk