Poverty Homeless Action Week – A Personal View

This week I am going to be attending a networking event on Tuesday evening at a local charity who support young, single homeless people in the borough. When I was just 19 I found myself in a very difficult situation. I had been living with my family and had recently started college but for many reasons I was unable to continue to live at home. My mental health had really deteriorated and this with other very difficult situations meant that I found myself without anywhere I could permanently live. I was definitely one of the lucky ones as I had other friends and family I could stay with however this wouldn’t of been ideal on a permanent basis and I needed some space and stability.
I decided to confide in my tutor at college who had heard of the charity and made a phone call on my behalf. The charity met me almost immediately and then worked hard to place me with a couple who we’re renting out a spare room in their house through the charity. This placement and host couple gave me the opportunity to distance myself from a difficult situation and focus on my college course and treatment for my mental illness as I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Whilst the placement unfortunately meant I was more vulnerable in other ways it gave me a chance to focus on things I needed to and the staff at the charity were fantastic and also instrumental in ensuring that I was transferred to a supported living environment within 7 months.
They also assisted with the overwhelming task of claiming benefits and budgeting which coming from a fairly affluent background was completely alien to me.
As we spend time this week thinking of and acting where possible to help those who find themselves poverty stricken and maybe homeless I thank the people who helped me when I needed it and therefore probably stopped me from sinking further into the poverty trap.

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