Simon Community | Introducing some of our Young People
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Introducing some of our Young People

03 January 2017

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People experience homelessness for a whole range of reasons, but the breakdown of a family unit is an increasingly common factor that often affects young people. At Simon Community NI, we aim to not only offer safe and secure temporary accommodation for these individuals, but also develop their life and employability skills, to give them the best possible chance to succeed in independent living when they move on from our accommodation services. This series of posts highlight the experiences of some of those staying in one of our dedicated Young People Projects.

Caine has been with Simon Community NI for two years:

I became homeless as a result of unpleasant family issues which came to a head when I was 18. I didn’t know a lot about the Simon Community, and I spent time on a friend’s sofa before the Housing Executive referred me to Simon Community NI.

Compared to where I was coming from, Simon Community was fantastic, a very good place to be. It was the start of a very large learning curve; I have met people from all walks of life. There’s never a dull moment and you meet people with all sorts of personalities.

In terms of support from Simon Community staff, there’s nothing they won’t help with – cooking, budgeting, support with interviews…with everything you need, they will find a way to support you through it, or refer you to someone who can help.

They have also give me lots of opportunities to get involved in activities including the Speak Up Project, Drug Awareness Residentials, and we’re currently working with Apple to create video ‘welcomes’ for new people coming to stay.

I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here – I’ve developed new skills to use in the future and it’s given me a sense of doing something worthwhile, rather than sitting around doing nothing. I would say that some of the young people who live here gain more skills than if they were still living at home. They get the push they need to start taking care of themselves.

I’m currently studying health and social care and hoping to become a social worker to work with young people who have been through what I have. I have back up plans too but that is my main aim.

I think I am ready to move on and live independently but the housing situation isn’t so good for me – I’ve been on the housing waiting list for two years but unless I can find someone to share a two bedroom flat with, I will be with Simon Community for the foreseeable future.

I have made plenty of fond memories at Simon Community NI so I will definitely look back positively at my time spent here when I leave.

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