Former homeless woman from Leeds tragically dies on bus after 'getting life back on track'

A fundraiser has been launched for the heartbroken family of a former homeless woman from Leeds who has died unexpectedly.

Sunday, 20th June 2021, 10:54 am
Sarah Johnson tragically died aged 45 after 'getting her life back on track'
Sarah Johnson tragically died aged 45 after 'getting her life back on track'

Sarah Johnson had previously lived on the streets and struggled with addiction issues, but was "getting her life back on track" after moving into a new home in West Park.

Leeds charity Homeless Street Angels met Sarah on an outreach project earlier this year and were helping the 45-year-old to renovate her house.

Sarah had "infectious optimism" about her new life and was overwhelmed by the support of the charity to help her, its co-founders Becky and Shelley Joyce said.

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Homeless Street Angels co-founders, Becky and Shelley Joyce, have launched a fundraiser to help Sarah's family

Tragically, Sarah died on Sunday after collapsing on a bus. She was on the way to visit her mum to discuss renovation plans.

Sarah leaves behind two daughters, aged 27 and 24, and two grandchildren - with another on the way.

“She was full of life, always laughing," her mum Angela, 66, told the Yorkshire Evening Post:

"She made her mistakes, she had her demons, but she was doing so well.

"She was a bubbly, wonderful human being and I’ll miss her so much. The house feels empty without her here."

Sarah's heartbroken family are awaiting details of a post-mortem to find out what caused Sarah's death.

They are unable to cover the costs of her funeral so Homeless Street Angels have stepped in to help - launching a Facebook fundraiser which has already raised more than £2,400.

The charity's co-founder Shelley Joyce said: "All her friends have been commenting on the fundraiser to say what an amazing girl she was.

"She was so excited to start painting the living room, we were helping to make it more of a home and she cried tears of happiness when we told her we'd paid for a carpet.

"She was finally getting her life back on track after so many struggles."

Angela has been "blown away" by the support of the charity and the generosity of people in Leeds who have donated.

She added: "I’m a pensioner, I’ve got no savings, no one could raise £4,600 for a basic funeral.

"I was blown away by the generosity of Becky and Shelley and I can’t say how grateful we are to everyone who has donated.

"I don’t know what we would have done without the Street Angels, they are the most wonderful human beings and they deserve the biggest medal."

Angela and Sarah's daughters plan to join Homeless Street Angels on outreach projects in the future, to thank the charity for its generosity.

"You just don’t plan for your daughter’s funeral," Shelley added.

"Running a charity is one of the most rewarding, amazing jobs that I've had, but it’s times like these that break my heart.

"We would love people to help so we can hit our target and celebrate what a wonderful lady Sarah was."

You can donate to the fundraiser here

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