Andrew’s Story | EveryYouth

Andrew shares his story with insecure housing, sofa-surfing and emergency accommodation for Pride Month:

Hi my name is Andrew and I’m 21 years old…

Growing up my family home was incredibly crowded, with my four siblings, me and my parents all living in a small house. My homelessness journey began when I was about 13 years old after I was sexually abused by a family friend.

I felt pressured to come out as LGBTQ+ before I was ready. My family didn’t accept me for who I was and asked me to leave our home, so I went to stay with my Nan.

When I was 17 my Nan sadly passed away and I ended up sofa surfing for two years. It was so hard not knowing where I was going to be staying from day to day. Having to pick up shifts at work based around which sofa I was staying on was difficult and my mental health really started to decline.

“Within hours, their Housing Team had found me the flat I now live in”

With my income as a health care assistant, I began renting privately. But money was tight. I fell behind on rent and was given just seven days to leave. I was back to sofa surfing and eventually had to return to my parent’s house.

My family were a little more understanding but it was still crowded and I didn’t feel comfortable being myself with everything that had happened in the past. After having my own place it felt like a step backwards and it was much harder than I anticipated going back to a lifestyle I thought I’d left behind.

Ultimately, it became too much and I once again had to leave. I went to the council and declared myself as homeless and I was referred to a hostel. I felt unsafe and isolated. It was a bad environment for me and my mental health got so bad I attempted to take my own life a number of times.

Eventually my support worker referred me to local my local EveryYouth charity and within hours their Housing Team had found me the flat I now live in.

With the support of EveryYouth I feel much more settled and my mental health has improved so much. I now volunteer and go into schools to tell my story. I hope that by sharing my experience, I can help other people like me.

To find out more about our Housing Fund click here.

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