In April young people normally expect their income to improve as the minimum wage increases. As they are far more likely to be on zero hour contracts, many are instead seeing their earnings take a real hit because of the coronavirus: they are out of work or on reduced hours. If they have experienced homelessness, this can feel especially overwhelming.
We spoke to Tomi, who we have helped to find housing and a job last year. He is one of these young people who are suddenly earning far less because of slashed work hours, and feels anxious about becoming homeless again:
“My day to day has been drastically changed, no routine and to get food is very hard. For me now there is no day or night, it is all the same. I had to make arrangements for all my bills because I cannot pay them. I have been paid but it is now not enough for me. I can just about pay my rent still, and get some food.
People like me do not have family, I am just trying to survive.
I am in my house share. I feel people who are alone are having a hard time, and it must be so difficult. I feel like this is a forced holiday. I do not know when I will be back in work. It has given me time to think about my mental health.”
We asked Tomi what he is hopeful for: “That we will get a clear date when we can go back to normal for all of us workers. It puts so much stress on me, it took me years to finally get sorted and have a home.”
Our team is working with Tomi to make sure he will benefit from the new government Covid-19 guidelines around self-employment and rent. We are also there for much needed emotional support.
If you want to get in touch or share your thoughts just use the hashtag #NHYC