I had been sofa surfing for 10 months in total and my mental health really suffered

I was living with my mum and working as a nursery assistant. I knew that my mum had problems with drugs and getting into debt, but I hadn't realised how bad things had got. After getting behind with the rent my mum lost our home and overnight I was left with nowhere to live. 

My friends stepped in and let me sleep on their sofas so that I didn't have to sleep on the streets. Every day I would wake up and not know where I was going to sleep that night. Before long, the pressure of always having to find somewhere new to sleep took its toll and I started having panic attacks. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and I ended up having to take time off work. When my contract came up for renewal, the nursery decided not to renew it. 

Within a few months of becoming homeless, I had no job and my mental health had become so bad that I found it difficult to leave the house. I had spoken to the local council lots of times about being homeless and needing somewhere to live, but every time they found me somewhere to live it would fall through at the last minute. 

I was introduced to Llamau and met my Support Worker, Sam, after a few months of sofa surfing. Sam has been amazing. She's helped me to understand my rights and has fought for me to have access to the support I'm entitled to every step of the way. 

I was really anxious when I first moved into my flat about living by myself and managing my rent and bills. Sam talked me through budgeting and helped to give me the confidence to see that I could manage by myself. 

I had been sofa surfing for 10 months in total, and my mental health really suffered. 

When I first moved into my flat, I couldn't imagine having the confidence to work again. But with Llamau's support, I'm now looking forward to the future. I really want to get a job again, and I've decided that I want to become a social worker and help other people who need help like I did. 

*Names and pictures have been changed.