I’ve been getting support from New Horizon for about two years - I was rough sleeping in Luton when a friend told me about them, and I came to London. A lot had happened in Luton and I was depressed and lost. I was so angry for quite a long time: drinking a lot, smoking weed and making bad decisions.
When I first came to the centre I was a bit shy but after a few days I started opening up and telling my story. I was still rough sleeping in London which was hard, especially in winter, but to be honest I got used to it. I was riding on buses all night or trying to sleep in McDonalds until they kicked me out. Coming to the centre I was able to get housing advice, food, spare clothes and a shower which was so important when I had no money and no support. New Horizon helped me with some emergency accommodation, sorted my ID and referred me to Cardinal Hume who helped me get my settled status. All that meant I could get financial support and find somewhere to stay. I was also working with a Streetlink Reconnections Officer and they found me a hostel. I’ve moved around a bit to different places but at least I have somewhere to stay now.
I found the Covid-19 lockdowns really hard. I couldn’t find a job and nothing was open. I was struggling. The police would send me away from the street when I was walking but I found it really difficult to be closed up in four walls. It was a frustrating time and I didn’t know what to do with myself - I was drinking more and getting back into trouble. It was strange to work with New Horizon over the phone after being around 30 or 40 people in the day centre every day. When my worker finally told me on the phone that the centre was opening again, I was happy. I was shocked when I came back and saw how it had changed. I couldn’t get used to it. Now, I find it okay. Things are open again and life is a bit more normal. I hope the whole thing is over.
I’ve still got problems with my drinking now, but New Horizon has always supported me. I think what’s probably changed the most is that I’m a better person, both to myself and other people. I’m starting to believe in myself. I’m drinking a bit less and I think I’m on the right track. As a young person experiencing homelessness, it’s hard - you’ll do anything to survive and sometimes even a cell seems like a better option than your current situation. I feel like over time my anger has gone down and I can talk to people more calmly now. In the future I want a job and my own place. New Horizon helped me a lot. To put it shortly – they’re amazing.
We give young people, like Kamil, the support they need to improve their wellbeing, change their economic circumstances and find somewhere that they can call home. If you share our mission of giving potential a home and want to get involved, you can read more about our work or make a donation.