Lewis received floating support from Centrepoint after he moved into his council flat at 18 after sofa-surfing for three years. Centrepoint supported him in managing and maintaining his tenancy and with financial support through the Centrepoint Bursary which he will receive throughout his three-year degree in Criminology. Lewis hope to join the police after he graduates.
Homeless while still at school
When Lewis was 14, the relationship with his mum broke down and he was kicked out. For the next few years, he stayed with friends and extended family whilst trying to keep up with his school work as he was in the middle of his GCSEs. He remembers this being a really challenging time.
“For three years, from the age of 15, I was living at my cousins, to my mates then to my mum’s ex’s. It was a really tiring and unstable time. I didn’t know where I was going to be at any one time," he says.
“Trying to keep up with school was difficult, but I’m very good at separating different stuff. I’d try not to worry about my situation when I was at school or college and just get on with things. I always focused on my education first.”
Lewis passed his GCSEs and went on to do A-levels. Around this time, he moved into his mate’s parent’s house. They encouraged him to seek help from the local council. He started bidding for council housing and was referred to Centrepoint for floating support when he moved into his own place on his 18th birthday.
Floating support from Centrepoint
Managing a new tenancy at 18, can be extremely daunting, but luckily Lewis’s floating support worker Lisa was able to support him through this transition.
“Lisa helped me apply for Universal Credit before I started working and I was able to run stuff by her when I needed advice. I could always ask her anything and she was good all-round help. When you get dropped into the deep in with something completely new like living on your own and having your own place – even if you think you know what you’re doing, you don’t really so having Lisa was a life-saver really because she helped me understand things I never knew anything about.”
A future career with the police
Since moving in, Lewis has now completed his A-Levels and started a Criminology Degree. He hopes to work for the police when he graduates.
“I was always wanted to be in the police since I was little. I would like to be a dog handler or a detective. This degree will give me a straight route into the police service.”
Whilst Lewis is at university, he will get regular payments from the Centrepoint Bursary which will mean he has some extra funds to help him through university.
“I am going to spend some of it on books, which are really expensive and I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. Having the extra resource will mean I will do better in my degree.”
Lewis is incredibly grateful for the support he received from Centrepoint and would urge other young people in similar situations to seek help if they need it.
“Centrepoint is a great place to come to if you need help. I used to be self-conscious about asking for help, but having Centrepoint as a helping hand has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
We think Lewis is amazing and wish him all the very best for the future.