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Neil Jones stuns fans with the news he used to be homeless

The Strictly star made the admission on Instagram

Gemma Strong

Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones has revealed that he was once forced to sleep on the streets. The 38-year-old star detailed his experience on Instagram, as he urged fans to help support a youth homelessness charity, DePaul, which has been hit hard by COVID-19. He wrote: "Not many people know but as a teen I found myself at one point sleeping on the streets for a short period but because of a charity like DePaul I was able to find a place to stay. DePaul provide emergency and longer-term accommodation and ongoing support with mental and physical health, employment and more. The pandemic has put many of @depaul_uk _uk service is under strain so to support them I’m taking part in their #sleepbedless campaign.

neil-jones

Neil Jones has revealed he was homeless for a short period as a teenager

"Here is how you can help. 1. Sleep somewhere other than your bed (floor, garden, balcony) for one night. 2. Donate £5 to @dupaul_uk. 3. Nominate 3 friends to do the same." Neil then went on to tag his nominees – ex-wife Katya Jones, fellow dancer Oti Mabuse and Greatest Dancer winners Michael and Jowita.

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Neil's hard-hitting post really resonated with fans. "What a kind and inspiring thing to do Neil," one wrote. "I am really glad your own experience was not long lasting and that you got to where you are today xx." A second added: "Have already given my donation and gonna sleep downstairs on the living room floor tonight. Neil you are an inspiration to the world and have the biggest heart ever."

MORE: Katya Jones shares rare photo of lookalike brother

Neil and Katya have remained close since the end of their marriage in 2019, and continue to share custody of their beloved dog, Crumbles. During a live chat with Strictly Come Dancing co-star Amy Dowden on HELLO!'s Instagram page on Monday, Katya revealed that Neil had always had a theory about being a dog owner. "Neil always said if you have a dog it puts two years off having a baby," she said. Amy – who is engaged to fiancé Ben Jones – then shared her thoughts on having children. "I would love a family but I don't want to give up dancing just yet," she said, to which Katya agreed.

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