‘Even though I have a job I still can’t afford to move on from supported housing’
My name is Sasha and I’m 25. I currently live at one of South London YMCA (SLYMCA)’s supported accommodation services in Crystal Palace.
I never really had a stable home and I ended up homeless and sofa surfing due to a break down in my family. For 3 – 4 months I did a lot of bouncing around and felt unstable and demotivated. Despite this, I had 3 jobs and managed to not let my accommodation issues affect work.
Before I moved to SLYMCA, I wasn’t aware of the places that could help me. Now I feel safe and secure and have somewhere to call home, if only temporarily. I can wash my clothes freely and have somewhere warm to be.
After becoming a representative for other residents, I have engaged more with staff who have monitored my progress and are supporting me to move on back into independent living. But moving out is a problem because you have to build up a rental deposit and not everyone has that sort of money sitting around.
After 10 months of living at SLYMCA I got a job as an apprentice support worker at Thames Reach, another homelessness charity, so I can use my experience to help others. I also go to college once a week so I can gain an NVQ in health and social care.
Even though I have a job I feel upset that I still can’t afford to move on from SLYMCA, even though I’m ready to. I think the government really need to analyse what they can do for people that are trying to help themselves. They should decrease deposits for renting and bring down the price of living to make it possible for a young working person like me to afford to live in this generation.