I had family problems at home and got kicked out at a young age. I didn’t want to get involved with social services so I was sofa surfing with family members and friends until I turned 18 and got into YMCA then. When I first started the support was great.
I’d say for a year and a half I was ready to move out, I was there over three years but I only expected to stay 9 months. I viewed and accepted the first council place I was offered. It’s alright, a one bed flat on the 12th floor. I didn’t want to be so high up because of my anxiety but it feels like home.
In my YMCA move on box there were two pots, a frying pan, oven trays, cutlery, plates, bowls and cups. YMCA contacted another charity to help with a fridge and cooker. Now I’ve got everything I do cook, I like a good spaghetti bolognaise. But there’s a couple of days a week I don’t eat as I don’t have enough money. I suffer with anxiety and depression so I don’t go out a lot.
When I first moved in it was quite scary, I thought how am I going to get stuff sorted with no money. For the first 2 weeks I was sleeping on borrowed cushions on the floor. I got the bed off market place for free, that’s where I got most stuff for my flat. I did start painting but I’ve got to buy paint myself so it’s taking time. My living room is red and white, grey in the kitchen and I’m going to do kiwi crush green in the bathroom. YMCA helped me with setting up bills and I talked to them about a few other problems I’ve had like mold and leaks. If there was a new resettlement coach they could check in more often and help me talk to the landlord about the problems I am having in the flat.
Young people are waiting longer and longer to get a place of their own when they are ready to move on from YMCA. This means we can’t help other young people in crisis. Our Christmas campaign for 2023 will raised money to address this issue and help young people to move on to independence.