Erin's Story

Erin was just 16 when her mother decided to move to a different country, leaving Erin to live with her older sister. Her sister was living in a very violent relationship, and for her own safety, Erin had no choice but to leave. At this young age, Erin was accommodated by the local authority in a bed and breakfast. Vulnerable and without support she was exposed to extreme levels of danger and abuse, and one night was violently attacked and raped. She became addicted to drugs, began to drink alcohol heavily and turned to self-harm in order to cope with what had happened to her.

A space became available for Erin to move into Llamau accommodation at one of our SAFE houses, where she received support to settle down and stop drinking and using drugs. Sadly, not long after, Erin’s sister‘s health plummeted and her grandfather, who had been very emotionally supportive, died. Her mood swings became worse and she began to self-harm in secret. Erin was diagnosed with depression, and given medication. She was in danger of going off the rails again.

Llamau worked with Erin to help her understand the destructive cycle of exploitation and abuse and through intensive support Erin began to develop appropriate coping mechanisms to reduce the risk of abuse and gain the skills she needed to live independently, such as budgeting and tenancy skills. With Llamau’s support, Erin enrolled for a hairdressing course, and moved into her own tenancy where Llamau could continue to support her. Today Erin is still living in the flat that she moved to.

Young people need stability and security in their lives. Without Llamau’s support, Erin and others like her, would remain vulnerable, at risk of abuse and exploitation. By providing support, we can enable Erin to build her hopes for the future, and save money from the public purse by intervening early to prevent future need.

Find out more about how you can get involved in End Youth Homelessness Cymru and make a difference for people like Erin.

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