Hello. My name’s CJ de Mooi and I’m an actor and television presenter in the UK. I’m so lucky to have a wonderful life now but at seventeen I became homeless and spent the next three years sleeping rough. As a young gay man with nobody who cared about me and nowhere to turn, I endured a nightmare of cold, fear and hunger.
I was reduced to very unpleasant things just in order to survive and only through sheer chance was I able to escape. Most never get such an opportunity. I refuse through inaction to allow the same to happen to anyone else and have worked with many charities offering help and care to homeless people. However, I really want to do something more, so have started this personal project.
Just as I was, many gay men find themselves rejected by their families, often violently, and have no choice other than a life of destitiution. I was barely out of school when it happened to me and please take a moment to imagine what that could possibly be like. I cannot comprehend how anyone could force that to happen or stand by and allow it.
I want to find a teenage gay man who is sleeping on the streets and help him get on his feet and provide the start of his future. The worst thing about being homeless is feeling ignored by society at large and the blinkered people hurrying past, trying not to see you. We have to let them know we care and we won’t sit by and allow nothing to change! I would’ve died in my early twenties had I not been saved and this is tragically true of so many people every year.
It may not be much, but if I can help one person, it’ll be a positive start and maybe someone else will take notice. I want to raise at least £5000 by September 2015 to provide a warm, calm, and above all safe, environment for what will essentially be a scared, lonely child. That’s what I was so I know how it feels. I simply can’t allow anyone else to go through the same and I hope, neither can you. Thank you for your support and together, we can change a life. CJ