A STOURBRIDGE man who was thrown out of his family home as a teen after telling his parents he was gay, is using his experience to help homeless youngsters.

Owen Bishop, aged 39, and his partner Adrian Pearson, aged 42, have been part of YMCA Black Country 's Open Door project for the past 12 months.

During that time, the couple have acted as hosts for homeless teens and offered them a place to stay, both on a long and short term basis, while they get back on their feet.

Mr Bishop said: “I became homeless when I was 17 and it was a really difficult time for me. I was thrown out for being gay, so I understand that many young people become homeless through no real fault of their own.

"It feels great to share my experiences with them and see their confidence grow. Some people think we’re mad, having homeless teenagers stay with us but the young people who come through the project are all vetted first and we haven’t had any problems.

"We would recommend the project to anyone.”

Rachael Taylor, the supported lodgings host co-ordinator said the charity is in urgent need of more hosts who can offer their spare room to a youngster in need.

For more information, email rachael.taylor@ymcabc.org.uk or call 0121 5241974.