Abu became homeless aged just 17. Now, he is studying European Politics at King's College London.
Ben grew up in care and was regularly moved from one foster family to another, up and down the country. He didn’t have a family of his own or enough time to form friendships, which left him in a vulnerable position. When Ben’s relationship with his girlfriend broke down, he had no one to turn to.
He ended up homeless.
Ben approached Leicester City Council for help and the council referred him to Action Homeless, a LandAid-funded project. He was initially given a place at the charity’s Mayfield House Hostel. After a few months, he was offered accommodation at Oakfield House, a shared property also managed by Action Homeless.
Although Ben was scared and alone, he started rebuilding his life in a more independent environment and over the last year he has made amazing progress. Ben started volunteering with Action Trust, the charity’s social enterprise which offers employment and training opportunities to people who have experienced homelessness.
Ben is a painter by trade so it has been great for him to put his skills to use and increase his employability at the same time. By getting back into work, he can start looking forward to a brighter future.
As Ben’s confidence grew, Action Homeless offered him his own home through the Action on Empty Homes scheme. The scheme renovates empty properties and rents them to individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. Ben also received support from Action Homeless’ Empty Homes Worker, Denise, who provided help with budgeting and helped him find work with the company who renovated his new home.
Having a stable place to live and a steady job has been life-changing for Ben. He is now in a place where he can support himself and others. Ben is now in a new relationship and his partner Gemma has recently given birth to their son, Alfie. *
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the family.