12 May 2021

Wesley lived with his dad and his dad’s partner until their landlord increased the rent and they were forced to move to a smaller one bedroom property.  This meant that there was no room for Wesley.  Homeless and with nowhere to go, Wesley had no choice but to sleep in a friend’s car whilst he looked for somewhere to stay.  His mum had heard of YMCA and advised him to apply for accommodation, and after a month sleeping in a car, Wesley was offered accommodation at YMCA Romford.

Wesley initially found it difficult to settle into a new environment surrounded by strangers, but it wasn’t long before he started to realise his own potential. He regularly engaged with his support worker; setting personal goals and targets, and for the first time received some external support.  He took part in a range of courses and activities and soon noticed a difference in his confidence and skillset.  He also started to feel better both physically and mentally as he made use of YMCAs health and wellbeing facilities.

Wesley took full advantage of all of the programmes on offer, including cookery workshops, movie nights and is currently attending life skills workshops led by Barking and Dagenham College.  He is also involved with BEAM, an organisation that supports people who have experienced homelessness, back into employment.  He is working towards an SIA, a qualification which will enable him to work in security.

Wesley attends the Havering Homeless Project; a drop in centre run by Havering Council at the YMCA on a fortnightly basis. They offer CV writing, training opportunities, upskilling and job searching.  They also work with an organisation called Suited and Booted; launched around eight years ago, the organisation provides interview clothing for men who are either unemployed or on low income with the aim of helping to empower and build confidence. Wesley was provided with a suit (pictured right in BEAST Magazine) for a recent interview and it really made a difference to his confidence and morale.  He said: “They sorted me out a very stylish suit and were such genuinely nice people, willing to help in any way they could. I’m feeling much more confident for my job interview next week!”

Wesley’s support worker recently identified and arranged for Wesley to be assessed for Autism.  Pending the outcome of this, he will receive additional support to help sustain a positive move-on when he is ready to live independently.

When asked how he feels now compared to when he first moved in, Wesley says that he has no issues approaching people now.  He said “YMCA has given me the support that I need to get back on my feet.  I really enjoy my time here.  I am much more confident and feel very happy”.

Wesley is busy with programme and skills training and doesn’t have time to get bored. The life skills he has developed have helped him feel more self-assured and ready to take on the world.

Wesley has now passed his CCTV exams and SIA course. He is currently working with BEAM and Havering Works to find employment and once he receives his certificates, will be ready for work.