The first time I left was ’cause of my mum’s partner; he was violent, he’s been on drugs, he’s kicked my mum’s house in, he’s robbed our own house and sold things. When I’d come home from school, he used to touch me and Mum didn’t even believe me. It’s still difficult ’cause you can’t get over that. The police came round and it’s just a place where you wouldn’t want be living. So I made myself homeless at 18.
I stayed at a mate’s for six months, but then they got me into weed and I thought no, I don’t want this and then I moved with my granddad. But he passed away in December. I’m still affected by those drugs, it still makes me paranoid.
Then I spent time rough sleeping in my boyfriend’s car and it’s not nice when you’re all alone. There are people out there that could do stuff to me. I’ve been back and forth a year, because I’ve been at my Nan’s, I’ve been at Yarmouth, I’ve been at mates, I’ve basically been like a suitcase. I would’ve killed myself. ‘Cause what’s the point in living homeless when you’ve got nothing?
Support is hard to find out there, but The Y has helped me with the little things that matter the most to me. I’ve met new people and get the support I need in things like education, housing applications and you can have a money adviser, who’ll help you to budget. My keyworker is lovely, I love her to bits! If I get into any trouble, I can speak to her. I’ve rebuilt my relationship with my mum too, she listens to me now.
Since I’ve come to The Y they’ve helped me get into college, so I have the chance of getting my dream job as a Nursery nurse. I love college and it’s building my confidence. I was immature when I was 18, couldn’t care less basically, but now I’ve matured loads. I’m going back into college, getting a job, and when I get my flat I’m gonna go get my dog cause she’s adorable.”