Sofa surfing is one of the most widely experienced forms of homelessness. Each night, tens of thousands of people depend on the kindness of friends and family, when they find themselves with nowhere else to go. But as Leah found out, it can often be an insecure and precarious arrangement.
Leah referred herself to hyh in April after a breakdown in family relationships made living at home impossible. She was told she had just a few more nights before she’d be homeless so crashing with friends felt like the only option. This wasn’t a sustainable arrangement though, and – as is often the case – her friends could only accommodate her for a short period of time.
With the risk of homelessness looming, we were thankfully able to secure temporary accommodation through our Crashpad initiative, which provides emergency accommodation to 16- and 17-year-olds who would otherwise end upon the streets.
To make sure Leah could move into a space nearby, we liaised with partners at local hostels and were able to secure her an emergency Crashpad space for a few weeks – as well as putting her in touch with Children’s Services who supported her with groceries and transport to college.
As Leah was unable to return to the family home, we also helped investigate alternative accommodation for her. Fortunately, despite Covid – and the resulting backlog waiting for accommodation – we were able to place her in longer-term accommodation locally. The result was a much smoother transition with less disruption to Leah and her education.
Leah receives ongoing support from Children’s Services and was helped to apply for Universal Credit so she could continue supporting herself financially, attend college and continue working towards her career goals.