Ahmed was experiencing a series of unstable and unsafe living conditions, including sleeping rough for six months. He has now moved on and into his own home after staying at Your Place, and is looking forward to the future in his own safe space.
Before I came to Your Place, I was in a shared house for about two years. It was seriously overcrowded, nine people were living there. This was accommodation I was given as an asylum seeker while my application was being processed, and as soon as my leave to remain status was confirmed, I had to leave that property so became homeless.
I was referred to a hostel, but the conditions were really bad. I experienced so many different issues with the people living there, as well as the lack of security, and I felt really unsafe. I became homeless again because I couldn’t deal with how bad it was there, I felt like sleeping on the streets was my only choice.
"I got a lot of support: how to get into work, how to get back to living again, how to communicate with different people; they teach us a lot."
Then I spent six months sleeping on the streets. You have no idea where you’re going to go and where you will sleep. You have to keep moving every day as it’s not safe. Usually I slept from midnight to 6am if I could, but then I’d wake up again and there would be nowhere to go. You want things to do, but it’s really hard.
When it got really cold, I went to get advice and was told about a winter shelter. I was able to stay there for 25 days before they referred me to Your Place.
I met a lot of people at Your Place. In winter there were activities going on, so I could meet different people – I appreciated that time. The accommodation was good and safety was 100%. I’m just looking for safety in my life, a quiet place to live. We need shelter the most. The staff were lovely and were trying to help a lot of people. The food bank was really useful too.
The people working at Your Place make it a better place to live. They speak to people very nicely, and every key worker does their best to get people the support they want. I got a lot of support: how to get into work, how to get back to living again, how to communicate with different people; they teach us a lot. I was at Your Place for two years before I was able to move out. My new home is brilliant, comfortable, a good location, with lots of good people in the area.
I loved playing football before I broke my arm, so for now I enjoy just watching the games. I like walking in the park and looking at nature to help me relax. My mind is calmer now that I have my own place, and when my arm is better, I want to go back to training and become an electrician, so my next priority is getting into college.
The Big Give, running between 28 November and 5 December, is doubling every donation made to Your Place via our dedicated fundraising page. With your help, more people like Ahmed can move away from homelessness, towards secure and safe housing and a better quality of life.
*Image via Centre for Homelessness Impact, Ahmed requested that his photograph was not used.