Harry's story

Nearly a quarter of young homeless people identify as lgbtq+. Akt supports lgbtq+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. During Covid akt has seen a dramatic increase in demand for their services, but a grant from LandAid’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund meant they could provide extra support to young people like Harry. This is his story.

After the death of his one supportive relative, Harry fell behind with his bills accruing significant rent arrears. Living in the area where he had grown up meant that people knew about his gender transition and this has resulted in a catalogue of transphobic abuse, both verbal and physical, even resulting in hospital admissions. He reported these to the police at first, but when he started to receive death threats, he was too scared to tell anyone. He wouldn’t leave home through the day, only at night and being in debt meant he was unable to get a tenancy anywhere else.

With the help of akt’s support, he set up repayment plans, received his correct benefit entitlement; got payments to top up his rent; and ultimately was accepted for social housing due to the abuse he’s experienced.

After a long wait during lockdown with ongoing threats from his neighbours, he’s finally got the place he deserves, a bungalow with gardens, in a quiet area and within budget! Thanks to akt’s Independent Living Fund, Harry has also just completed his CBT training.

His life was on hold waiting for a new safe and stable home, but now Harry can plan for a more hopeful future, moving forward with his gender transition; accessing counselling and learning photography.