ARE YOU HOMELESS, SOFA SURFING OR AT RISK?

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Tori's story

At just 15 years old, Tori was hospitalised by her Mum.

She was forced to leave home in difficult circumstances twice - first from her mother’s house, then her godmother’s. Seven years after leaving Centrepoint, she’s living a life without fear.

hospitalised by her mother

Tori was forced to leave home in difficult circumstances twice - first from her mother’s house, then her godmother’s. Seven years after leaving Centrepoint, she’s living a life without fear.

At 15, Tori was hospitalised by her Mum.

‘She had a breakdown and beat me - I was put in hospital. I literally just walked out of the house. I called an ambulance and waited in the phone box. I was scared that I was going to die.’

Tori went to live with her godmother, but there were tensions between her and her godmother’s partner.

‘He didn’t like me. It sounds crazy but I know it’s because I’m black. He basically made her choose between him and me.’

After being forced to leave, Tori moved into temporary accommodation.

‘Within a couple of months they moved me to self-contained accommodation run by Centrepoint. From that point I was supported by a woman called Veronica and she was really nice.’

‘Veronica was great. Everyone was really supportive.’

After spending a year in Centrepoint accommodation, Tori got a bidding number for her own place.

‘Veronica came with me to sign the contract to look over it with me. She made sure I understood what was happening.’

Tori was given a month to move from Centrepoint to her new flat, which she still lives in now.

‘I remember I moved in via bus! At the time it made sense, obviously I didn’t have money to hire anything.’

Keeping in touch with Veronica and other staff at Centrepoint, Tori started out on her own – working as a dance teacher, photographer, film-maker and making her own range of clothes.

More recently Tori started a year-long adventure of trying to live without fear, making blogs and videos along the way. She calls this her Fear Less Year.

‘I decided that fear is not necessarily real, not necessarily rational and it kind of holds me back from a lot of things in my life.’

Tori says her past experiences have led her to taking this bold step.

‘I think it definitely correlates. I think if I hadn’t gone through what I’ve gone through, being homeless and getting kicked out, I don’t think I’d be as fearless as I am now.’

Tori’s Fear Less Year has already seen her shave off her hair and do a sky dive to raise money for Centrepoint.

‘No matter what you’re going through you can actually achieve the things you want to, or attempt to achieve them because you might find you don’t but learn some great things along the way.’

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