Amy was just 17 when, as she struggled with her own anger issues, she left her home following a series of increasingly noisy arguments with her parents and siblings.
"I had nowhere to go and I ended up in a doorway in the middle of town." she recalls. "It was horrible - cold all the time and frightening too, but it was at least one of the cleanest doors because it was cleared up every day by the owners, so I'd come back as soon as the shops shut and settle in again for another night, because that's all you can do, just put your head down and get on with it. I was out shoplifting every day because I didn't have any money and I had to live. But the worst thing was the way people looked at you as they passed you and they'd make comments too, say really nasty things; you don't feel you are anyone any more."
Amy ended up in a squat, before hearing about local youth housing charity 'Roundabout' and being introduced to Paul, her key worker whose first role was to help find safe accommodation for her. He spoke with her regularly and saw her at least four times a week; attending appointments with her and and making sure she had essentials, such as food and toiletries.
Amy says, "Roundabout were more supportive than my family ever were. I'd probably still be in that squat if it hadn't been for Roundabout, because they've helped me with so many things, which has really helped with my mental health issues. The best thing is that I'm getting the key to my own flat soon, some where that will be all mine."
Amy has been supported on this journey by Roundabout's rapid Rehousing team, which is made up of dedicated workers who actively go out into the community, identify homeless young people who need intensive support and help them to access accommodation and develop their long term living skills, until they are confident to take that next step to live independently.
Helen, Fundraising and Communications Manager wrote to say that the grant of £5,000, made from the Provincial Grand Master's Fund last month, will assist in the ongoing work of Roundabout, meaning the charity can be there for young people like Amy in the future.
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