1625 Independent People has more than 30 years of experience as the lead provider of housing and support services for young homeless people in the South West.
LandAid's £23,774 grant is helping to refurbish a Victorian two-bed terrace in a good area in Bristol.
Katie is just one of the young people 1625 Independent People has helped. This is her story.
'When I first came to 1625 Independent People I’d left foster care six 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.'