Youth Homelessness: Rhys’ New Life
Sub-Editor's note: The following writing is taken directly from Llamau's website and can be found here.
During 2012-13, 2245 young people aged 16-24 in Wales were accepted as homeless.
In Australia, 9th April is Youth Homelessness Matters Day, and we’ve decided to team up with the leading homelessness charity for vulnerable young people and Women in Wales, Llamau, to mark the day in our own, Welsh way. Below is Rhys' story...
Rhys was brought down to Wales from Scotland by his mum. Life in Scotland was not good, with constant rows and no money. They moved in with Rhys's auntie in Newport initially, however after 3 months, Rhys' mum decided to return to Scotland, leaving Rhys alone.
Although he was living with his auntie, Rhys hadn’t made many friends. He enrolled on an IT course and things were starting to get better for him. But a few weeks later his auntie asked him to leave.
Rhys went to the Local Authority but he did not meet the criteria for “priority need” and they were therefore unable to help him. But, concerned for his safety, they called Llamau.
Llamau worked with the Housing department to get Rhys accepted as a priority, following which he was referred to Llamau’s York House project.
Rhys stayed with Llamau for just over a year, receiving intensive specialist support to overcome a range of personal barriers, gaining independent living skills, before he was allocated a property with a local housing association. He now lives independently with support from Llamau through their tenant support scheme. Rhys has completed his college course and has been awarded a diploma in performing arts and musical theatre. He has also obtained various qualifications including maths, English and IT.
Rhys has made incredibly positive changes to his life, through support from Llamau. He has addressed his substance misuse issue and has stopped using drugs and alcohol. Rhys has also made contact with his mum and they now occasionally speak on the phone. Rhys is now fully at home in Newport; Llamau’s support has ensured he enjoys an independent and active life, attending football weekly as well as being a keen BMX biker and attending a boxing class. This has helped him feel focused and positive and together with support, has helped him to cease his self-harming – he has told us he no longer feels alone.
Rhys has chosen to focus on music as a career and is hopefully applying to attend a Newport City radio course.
Rhys is an inspiration for others in his project because of his struggle with emotions and anger and his battle through the most difficult of times yet despite this, he has emerged the other side, a more positive, hopeful young man. He demonstrates that with the right support even the most challenging and disadvantaged young people can make positive changes in life.
With support from Llamau, Rhys has set up a new life for himself. Rhys is a very quiet and shy person yet he has become a positive role model for others within the Llamau projects and a true inspiration.
Sub-Ed’s note to readers: If you need any free, confidential help with or advice with problems, please contact Meic online, via their helpline on 080880 23456, or text 84001. Meic is run by ProMo-Cymru, the legends behind theSprout.
Related / helpful:
- Article: Homelessness In Wales (2010)
- Info Â» Housing Â» Homelessness
- Info Â» People In Your Life
- Info Â» Health Â» Emotional and Mental Health
- Organisations Â» Categories Â» Housing Â» Facing Homelessness
- Organisations Â» Categories Â» Relationships And Lifestyle Â» Parents / Carers / Independent Living
- Organisations: Llamau, Shelter Cymru, Welsh Assembly Government
- Events Â» April 2014: Sprout Editorial Group Meeting