smiling young person standing against a grey brick wall

Aysar's Story: Finding acceptance and confidence at Centrepoint

Aysar became homeless after his family found out about a same-sex relationship. Centrepoint have supported Aysar with his mental health and finding employment. He hopes to move into his own accommodation soon. 

An abusive childhood

Growing up, Aysar, (20), was subject to abuse both at school and within the family.

When he was 16, he built up the courage to open up to his parents about the things he’d experienced, but they didn’t believe him and instead of supporting him, they suggested that he should end his own life if he was going to say such things about his family. Soon afterwards, lockdown happened and he had no choice but to live through it in the family home. He remembers it being one of the most difficult periods of his life.

An ultimatum

In 2023, Aysar's family discovered that he was having a sexual relationship with another man. His parents presented him with an ultimatum:  either live at home or continue with the relationship. Aysar decided that he had no choice, but to leave.

With support from his case worker from the AKT (Albert Kennedy Trust) who advocated for him, Aysar was assessed by the housing office in the area and found emergency accommodation. From there he was placed in his own accommodation. However, just a month or so later, he was told he had to leave because the housing benefit didn’t cover his rent. He is under 25 and gets a lower rate of housing benefit.

“That period was so frustrating,” he remembers. “I had just set up all my bills and mail at the new address and started to settle again and the rug was pulled from under me. I felt completely lost and didn’t have the time to process everything that was happening. I don’t feel I was given accurate information by people. My physical and mental health was in a really bad place.”

Support from Centrepoint

The local authority referred Aysar to Centrepoint where he has been since July of 2023.

Since being at Centrepoint, Aysar says he has finally had the headspace to put himself back together and start to learn the skills necessary to stand on his own two feet. He has also been able to access support from one of Centrepoint’s dedicated psychotherapists, Amrita, to work through some of his trauma. He says this has been invaluable and has helped him to trust again.

Amrita has been so impressed with his progress. 

“When Aysar first presented to the psychotherapy service, he felt lost, confused and scared," she says. "He struggled to express his thoughts and feelings, and to take care of his own needs due to feeling undeserving and guilty for doing so. However, in counselling, Aysar has embraced the idea of being vulnerable so that he could begin to heal. Though his sense of self-worth had been severely shattered through the difficulties that he suffered, he has begun to see himself as worthy of love, respect, happiness and more. Aysar has started to find his voice and has grown so much. It’s been a privilege to witness him on this journey.”

Aysar has also been able to access support from one of Centrepoint’s JET (jobs, education and training) advisors. With their support, he is now on a pre-apprenticeship with Yorkshire Housing and eventually wants to go on to do an electrical apprenticeship.

Michelle, Aysar’s JET worker says,

“I made contact with Yorkshire Housing who were willing to start working with Centrepoint to offer young people pre-apprenticeship support to get them ready to apply for the next intake in September 2024. Aysar attended a volunteer day and was one of the few selected to shadow operatives for a week in early 2024. Aysar will hopefully get a chance to speak with some of the recruitment managers with a view to apply and hopefully from there, be offered an apprenticeship starting in September 2024.”

Aysar is excited about this opportunity and wants to do his very best in order to secure the apprenticeship.

“I’ve always liked hands on stuff. I couldn’t be stuck in an office all day," he explains.

Aysar also recently completed assertiveness training through the CP Works team that really helped him know his own mind.

“I feel I have the strength to make my own decisions and the headspace to achieve things again. I’m  making the most of what Centrepoint have to offer so I can get back on my feet.”

Building independence

Aysar says that since being at Centrepoint, he feels both supported and heard and that he has developed a range of skills: in particular assertiveness and confidence.

His whole outlook and self view have shifted. As he explains,

“Linzi, one of the staff at Centrepoint said to me, ‘Life shrinks or expands according to your courage.’ It’s really stuck with me and I’m trying to live by that.

Aysar is hoping to move into his own place soon. He says, “I’m working with Ruth from Centrepoint’s rent deposit scheme to find something appropriate, hopefully through Yorkshire Housing.”

We wish Aysar all the best with his endeavours.


*names have been changed