I’ve built up my confidence again, I’m ready to take the next step and move into independent accommodation
I’ve been living in supported housing for more than a year now.
As a teenager I faced emotional abuse and neglect after going to live with family members, when my mum couldn’t look after me.
I had no choice but to leave and became homeless at the age of 15, and had to sleep on a few park benches, despite the dangers.
Mostly I was sofa-surfing, but what I really needed was a place to stay where I could recover and get on with my life.
Being under the age of 25 I was unable to claim full housing benefit, which left me with very limited options but it doesn’t have to be this way.
When I talked to people about my options, it felt like a tick box exercise and if you didn’t meet the criteria that was it. You are set up to fail.
My experiences left me feeling very let down and upset.
I was later diagnosed with an emotionally unstable personality disorder, but since coming to Look Ahead I have been supported really well.
I feel safe where I am and have been offered counselling.
Now I’ve had support I’ve built up my confidence again, I’m ready to take the next step and move into independent accommodation.
I also took part in a photography course organised by Look Ahead and received training from the Royal Photographic Society. My images were then exhibited in Tunbridge Wells. That was a great moment for me.
I was even able to sell my first photograph.