This is Katie’s story in her own words…
“When I first came to 1625 Independent People (1625ip) I’d left foster care 6 months previously, and had moved back in with my mum. However, the living situation with my mum really wasn’t working. We had so many challenges as I had been in foster care for a long time. I had started sofa surfing at a friend’s place and so a friend advised me to go to Youth MAPS. I went there and they asked me about my situation and then explained my options to me. After this I got a call from the hostel at 1625ip, who told me that they had a space for me there. I was so relieved, as I needed the space, and I wanted to stop relying on other people as I had to when I was sofa surfing.”
I had my own room at the hostel, and I was grateful to not be on the streets or sofa surfing still, but it was tough sometimes. I did have some motivation and ideas about what I wanted to do, but honestly it was difficult settling into the environment and I didn’t feel confident about my future.
“After a couple of months I was able to move into a shared house with 1625ip, and this is where I am now. When I moved into a shared house I got really involved in the activities and services at 1625ip. I was really motivated to get things done, and always made sure I was on time for meetings. I became part of the Youth Board, where we discuss ways of improving the service for young people. I have learnt some cooking skills in the Skills Kitchen, and go to the drama and arts sessions which help me improve my confidence, and are really fun to do! I am getting some qualifications too – I’ve just done my Level 3 for Maths, I did the Creative Leaders communications and media course, I’ve done my Emergency First Aid which I find really interesting.”
In my current house I like the kitchen as I can practice my cooking skills, and having the space to keep it clean and organised. I love the independence that it gives me, and I enjoy making a ‘homely’ house with the others that live there.
“In the future I’d like to have a job as a support worker – people tell me I’d be good at it! I’d like to in particular work in LGBTQ communities. I’d also love to have a family and my own place one day, but for now, I am happy. I’m really enjoying the engagement activities with 1625ip, and volunteering as part of the Youth Board.”