Gay Romanian Teenager Homeless in London, Sets Up GoFundMe for Assistance

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday October 30, 2020

John Mocanu
John Mocanu  (Source:John Mocanu / GoFundMe)

A gay teenager who fled Romania for the UK is homeless after losing his job during the pandemic, i news reports.

Since losing his position at a dessert parlor, 19-year-old John Ionut Mocanu has been sleeping on the couches of generous strangers and forced to take shelter in parking garages. Because he's not actively employed, Mocanu doesn't qualify for government assistance. He has appealed to homeless shelters, which ultimately haven't been able to do much for him aside from one that provided the teenager with food vouchers. Mocanu has set up a GoFundMe page to assist him in finding safe, secure housing.

Mocanu left Romania after coming out to his parents who, as a consequence, kicked him out of their home. The teenager said moving to England has been "better, but it hasn't been easy." In his search for a new job and stable housing, Mocanu moved from Nottingham to stay with friends in London, an experience that ultimately went awry. So he returned to Nottingham where, in addition to his GoFundMe page, he has also used the Next Door app "to reach out to people in the area for financial help," as i news states. So far, "a woman called Alice found me on the app, and has paid for me to stay in a hotel until 15 November," Mocanu said.

The teenager has also reached out to a college in Nottingham to pursue studies, which could result in receiving financial aid that might assist in getting back on his feet — because returning home to Romania is not an option. As Mocanu said, "I hope there will be a time when this terrible situation is in the past and I can laugh about it, but not right now. I do feel like I have been through a lot at a young age, and I want the chance to build my life back up."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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