YRP client heads for university!!

YRP client heads for university!!

Posted on: 23 January 2017 in

Good luck Ethan!

In October last year, Ethan walked through the door of the Prop announcing he was homeless.

Ethan is 21 years old and for a variety of reasons  he was suddenly on the streets,scared and alone. He was not born in the UK although he has been here since he was three years old. He has been educated in Woking and if you met him you would assume he was a British citizen. But he isn't. His parents did not apply for citizenship before he was 18 and the second he achieved this milestone, he lost the right to automatically apply. He was able to receive job seekers allowance and work but his status means he wasn't entitled to housing benefit and without this, he couldn't access supported housing.

Normally, someone arrives saying they are homeless, subject to vacancies, we can move them straight into the night shelter but for those who are working, or who can't claim housing benefit, the high level of staff support, makes our accommodation expensive. But what makes Ethan even more unusual is that he had a place at university and would not budge from his goal of getting there regardless of being homeless.

He needed £1500 living costs until he found a job there and he didn't have this money and wasn't entitled to help to get it.  He was working two full time jobs — one in a well known fast food restaurant from 8am to 7pm daily — with only one day off a week and then at bar from 9.30pm until 3.30am three days a week. Over 80 hours worked each week. He was focused and determined and said he would rough sleep if he had to as nothing would stop him from achieving his goal of getting to university.

As an organisation, we try to offer support which has the clients needs at the centre of all we do.  We felt that we couldn't leave Ethan to work two jobs and sleep in the cold .We offered him a room and paid his rent from donations from the public.  And all the while, he kept working and kept saving.

His university course is Forensic Science and he hopes to go on to complete a masters in blood splatter analysis, then work as a forensic detective before ultimately starting his own business.

At the beginning of January, Ethan came in and announced that he had enough money saved and would be flying the nest shortly. We felt like proud parents. Ethan is at the start of a new journey which we hope includes happiness and we are proud to played a small part in this.

Good luck Ethan!