February is LGBTQ+ History month. We spoke with David (20) about his experiences of coming out and youth homelessness. He works full time in fashion retail, but at night stays at a winter night shelter. He came to New Horizon Youth Centre after a second spell of homelessness left him on the streets.
“When I was 17 I got kicked out by my parents because my dad wanted a straight son. But in me he had a gay kid studying fashion, so it was the polar opposite. We had an argument, and he decided to just kick me out of our home.
I was able to stay with a couple of friends and I started an apprenticeship so I had a job and some money. I rented my own place and my relationship with my dad was on and off and my mum died when I was 19. When I told my dad I had my first boyfriend, he decided to cut me off completely, and that made me go to London.
When I arrived I spent all the money I had on a backpacker’s hostel. I was then due to stay with some family friends but when I called up to ask for their address, they said I couldn’t stay with them anymore. So I was suddenly on the streets. I went to the council and they advised me to go to New Horizon.
New Horizon helped me in a lot of ways. There’s very few emergency housing, so on my first day they helped me by giving me bus tickets so I didn’t have to sleep on the streets, and was able to sleep on a night bus. They helped me with clothing, because I didn’t have a jacket. I had warm food and coffee and I’m a really big coffee drinker. I was able to shower after three days of not showering, which was amazing! They gave me toiletries. I could brush my teeth, which is the best feeling when you’re in my situation.
They also helped me by paying for me to stay again in backpacker’s hostel when I was waiting for a place in a night shelter. And now they have found a room for me to rent privately through their private rented accommodation scheme
I work full time at the moment and so from next week I have my own place to stay I will then start working on my goal, to get a job as a Fashion Stylist. And then I will try to live my best life in London as a young person.”
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