Skip navigation

Leo’s Story

When coming out led to homophobic abuse and serious threats of violence against him, Leo* found safety and acceptance at Your Place.

Leo* has asked to remain anonymous to protect his safety.

I’ve been at Your Place since September 2022, and before that I was made homeless by a difficult situation at home. I’d been living with my family but after I came out as gay, I wasn’t accepted by them, so I had to leave. It was a really unsafe environment for me. I was only 19 at this time, so I went to my college for advice as I had nowhere to go, and luckily, they helped me fill out forms and go to the council.

I was couch-surfing for a while, one friend after the other. Then my mum got ill, so I had to go back home, but again I realised I wasn’t safe there. I was getting lots of threats of violence towards me, so I left again. That was when I got a call from the council about a room available at Your Place.

I went through the assessment process, and ended up moving out slowly to make sure it was safe, and that my family didn’t know where I was. It’s hard and strange to move out by yourself when you’re young; you don’t feel prepared, but the staff were so friendly here, especially [my key worker] Elif, who has been so helpful and lovely. Their support helped me to ease into living here, and day by day I was settling in.

"Their support helped me to ease into living here, and day by day I was settling in."

The stress of everything brought on a big mental health crisis, which was really worrying, but again the staff helped out so much. My key work sessions were once a week, but Elif said I could come and speak with her or another member of the team whenever I needed to. This was all before I had access to therapy, so having someone to talk to was really important for me.

I soon felt more settled, and really enjoyed having this sense of freedom that I didn’t have before; it was so positive for my mental health. Being able to move away from the toxic environment at home and have the freedom to go out was amazing. It was helpful to have support around me, and in time my anxiety was lessening. I was also helped out with budgeting sessions, to prepare me for living independently.

Right now I’m in a good place, especially with managing my mental health. Elif has been supportive in helping me get the right treatment, and now I can look to the future.

I’m looking forward to moving out to a new space, to have a stable place. The shortage of housing is quite challenging but I’m doing the best I can until something suitable comes up. I’m working in hospitality at the moment but it’s not my long-term plan; I used to study acting, so now that I have some space to call my own, I’m hoping to get back into creative practice. I’m currently writing a one-man show in my spare time!

Donate to help more people like Leo
Back to top

Keep up to date with us

Sign up below to keep updated by email with news and ways you can support people experiencing homelessness.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.